Sunday, May 24, 2020

Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?

Do You Wanna Build a Snowman? 

"I know my sister like I know my own mind, you will never find anyone as trusting or as kind..." ~Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton

Our hero today is a petite, but strong female with brown hair that falls right below her shoulders. Her brown eyes can pierce you with a stare that makes you instantly realize your mistakes, but can also reveal her witty sense of humor if you accidentally catch her off-guard with a clever pun. She is known as a dynamic orator by those whom she works with; however, on her journey many have assumed she was shy and quiet. They have underestimated her. 

Harry Potter never wanted to be a hero. Book after book, Harry simply seeks friendship and family, but he is thrust into the position of having to save the world from the evil Voldemort. Katniss Everdeen, from The Hunger Games, just wanted to care for what remained of her family in District 12, but she was compelled to do the right thing and ends up overthrowing not one, but two corrupt leaders. Scout in, To Kill a Mockingbird, levels a group of angry rioters by simply being her heroically kind self to Mr. Cunningham. 

Our hero today, Stacy Woyciechowski, didn't choose to be my big sister. 

Needless to say, this school year has been rough, but early in December, on a rainy and cold day, I took my daughter to her first movie: Frozen II. I was thrilled that Stacy was able to work out her extraordinarily busy schedule to bring her two children, Ryan and Leah, with me and Zoe as we watched the animated sequel to Frozen I, a long-time family favorite. At the beginning of the film, I turned to Stacy and said, "This is about us," and understanding my meaning, she replied, "Yeah, I know." I didn't know the whole plot of the movie when I said that, and not every aspect applies, but Anna sings, "I follow you around, I always have..." and that sentiment alone can encompass a huge, meaningful part of my relationship with my sister. 

Much to her dismay, Stacy is my compass. I play a mental game and ask, "What would Stacy do?" with practically every decision I make. I don't always listen to that voice and I have made some terrible decisions in my life; however, I credit the majority of the good ones to my sister. Stacy is thoughtful and kind, hilarious and talented, but her most prominent quality is her sense of integrity. "Integrity" pops up on my freshman vocabulary list and I always explain it to my class like this: Integrity means doing the right thing even if no one is looking. 

At her wedding, I gave some version of the following speech: There's an old Harris family story in which, one Easter morning, Stacy, Lindsay, and I came downstairs in our Sunday best and my dad remarked, "There's the smart, beautiful three." We said, "Stacy is smart. Jessie is beautiful. And Lindsay is well...three." But truthfully, any smarts and beauty that Lindsay and I have come from Stacy's influence. 

Stacy, my hero, doesn't like to be my or anyone else's moral guide. She is fun-loving and can belt out a Broadway show tune better than most. She is quick-witted and punny. She watches several guilty-pleasure TV shows. She reads both popular fiction and research studies. She is a sports mom who also makes sure her two wonderful children relax and smell the roses. She is devoted to her kids' guinea pig, lizard, and gold fish. She supports and  parties with her husband. She is hands down the best gift giver; she took me to high tea for my 21st birthday, which sounds odd, but is one of the most memorable experiences I have. She doesn't think about her influence on me or Lindsay; we know she has always wanted to just be our buddy. But...she is our hero as she always does, "...the next right thing." 

Stacy has suffered some tragedies in her life, but since she is a natural-born leader, she has always been the shoulder for everyone to lean on. I know she sometimes just wants to cry and have someone else take the lead. Over the past few weeks, I have received several cards (and 2 mugs) that say: "You've Got This!" I want everyone, but especially Stacy to know, that it's true. I've got this. Emphasis on "I." Dear Stacy, you don't have to worry. You don't have to take charge. You don't have to research. You don't have to throw anyone a shower. You don't have to do anything but know that because I have followed you around my whole life, I know that I've got this. 

Happy Birthday, sis. I love you. 

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