Big sisters, many of us have one or even several.

Some may have grown up either loathing or loving their big sisters.

For others maybe as you grew older you learned to appreciate your big sister more like I have.

I have one older sister, Kelli, and her birthday is this Wednesday (Aug. 28) for all of you wanting to embarrass her with birthday wishes. With her birthday this week I thought the subject of big sisters would be heartwarming topic.

Growing up I was the baby of my four siblings with me being five years younger than my sister.

I can remember playing house with her in the playhouse by the sand pile during the summer months as a young child. When playing house I was the “kid,” and she was the mom. I can remember us making mud pies and having to do my chores. I’m sure she was bossy, but I only assume (smirk).

A few other memories I have of my big sister is that she would drive me around the farm on our three-wheeler. How we were never seriously injured on that thing I’ll never know.

Another vivid memory of my sister that I have is when she was 15 or 16 years old. She was driving my father’s pickup into the garage upon returning home and crashed into the garage door frame.

Yes, it was an accident, but she was crying and nearly hysterical that my father would kill her. I remember my sister offering our mom all of her babysitting money that she had saved up for the repairs. I don’t recall how my father reacted, but in the end it made for a hilarious memory for me, and now I’m confident that she is beyond embarrassed as the general public is learning this story.

As my sister went into her teen years, she was focused on boys, spending time with her friends and putting posters of boys from Teen Beat magazine on her bedroom walls.

I can always remember her sitting on her bed studying and reading out loud, she always said that’s how she retained information.

We were neither very close or very distant as we both grew up, but later in adulthood we both came to appreciate each other more.

Well, at least I think so.

Who knows?

Maybe she’s still silently angry that I snooped through her bedroom countless times in my youth – a big sister’s bedroom is full of treasures to a little brother.

Over the course of time I’ve learned many lessons in life, and one of them is to hold close the friends and family who mean the most to oneself.

There is no rule book or instructions to family dynamics, some relationships are complicated and even broken, and that’s perfectly acceptable. What is important is that we support, encourage and love those in our lives who have always been there for us, like a big sister such as mine.

Happy Birthday, Kelli.