This past Saturday night, we attended an engagement party for my little sister and her fiance. Since our daughter has learned that her aunt (affectionately called Masi in the Indian language) is getting married, she breaks down in raindrop size tears. She tells me, “Masi is getting married so she won’t be my Masi anymore.” I try to calm her down and tell her that her aunt will always be her aunt, but part of me knows that she will experience a new life with her fiance and his family.

When my daughter cries, my mom and I feel it. And I am certain that my father would feel it too. We are letting go. And it is a bittersweet feeling. Because my sister and I have a nine year age difference, my role is not only sister, but a sometimes mother.

So many of my memories of my childhood have my sister in them. I reminisce about dancing with her in Indian dance competitions, eating ice cream at Braums, and yelling at her when she wanted to hang out with me and my friends. I remember dancing with her to the New Kids on the Block and lip-synching to Celine Dion songs. She is my little sister and in the last five years, I’ve realized she is her own woman with a compassionate heart and free-spirit. We’ve shared celebrations and sadness. We tag teamed the care of my father when he was sick, and to this day, I believe she did far more for him with a grace that I don’t think she realizes. Her compassion is something I think she underestimates, but it is real and genuine.

We are all slowly letting go. Her time will be divided between her childhood family and  her new family. She is my kid sister, but she is all grown up. I hope that her life with her fiance is filled with good unexpected surprises.  I am raising my virtual glass to my sister. I love you and Congratulations on your engagement. xoxo Rudri