I hope you'll allow me to take a moment to thank someone who has been such a wonderful influence in my life. She is sincerely one of my best friends and one of the very first people I want to tell about anything and everything that happens in my life. She is delightfully funny, lovely, intelligent, and has always been my "voice of reason" over the years--which, when you're me, you really need.

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She also happens to my sister, and today is her birthday. Happy Birthday Tonya. Thank you for being my life long "partner in crime," confidante, bearer of caution, and clothes-sharer. Thank you for intervening in my life at times when I literally would have seen my world fall apart otherwise. I'm grateful for how you inspired my taste in music and movies, and even now help keep me up to speed with what's "hip," even if you are a few years older than I. (You were always way cooler than me.) ;) I'm so very thankful for you.

I know, siblings don't always get along. Tonya and I have definitely had a few cross moments throughout the years. However, I know that I'm very fortunate that, at the end of the day, we've always seemed to connect well and sincerely like hanging out. If this isn't an experience you've had with a biological sibling, I bet you can think of at least one person, at some point in your life, that was a bit like a sibling for you. Our friends can absolutely be our adopted siblings and family. I have a few of those, too. What a priceless gift.

The older I get, the more I realize that our personal relationships are by far the most precious things we have. Aren't they often the reasons we do everything else? We work hard and achieve goals so that ultimately we can spend time and money with people with love dearly more frequently.

Reach out and call someone you love. Don't wait. We need each other.

A Few Photographic Memories with my Sister, Tonya

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