I’ve loved her since I was 5, cinnamon brown girl with hazel eyes. Features similar to mine, she was my friend, my sister, my cousin. In my mind that’s how she’ll always be, outside of her six foot status, numerous tattoos and rugged army exterior she’s still Tess.
Star basketball player, single mother at 12, I could never truly know her strength. I’ve admired from a distance, the older cousin going through my own drama but always thinking and hoping praying for the best. Her decisions I didn’t always understand, some views I didn’t support but HER. I’ve always had her back even if far away, in whispered prayers for her safety in the darkness as she served our country, as she struggled to bring championships to her team. I’ve always loved her. Somewhere on a dusty road in Duck Hill, MS we’re still little kids, me trying to carry her across, her failing and landing on her head, the bandage that ensued, the heartache of hurting one I love and forgiveness for trying to carry a load not meant for a 5 year old.
In her eyes, I’ve always found myself reflected. Hazel pools that changed with outfits, that have seen and embraced a different lifestyle from mine. That I don’t understand and don’t have too. My mission in this life has always been to love her, and support her. For she is my sister and my family and she’s found love in the arms of another woman.
Leery as I am of anyone having her heart, I realize that it’s not my responsibility. Not my journey to attempt to carry a load far bigger than my arms lest I drop her again. Instead, I place her in the arms of the heavenly father that made us both, grab my camera in support and capture the love she’s found with another and not the sex behind it.