The birthday letter my older sister wrote me this year was on a piece of lined, college ruled, notebook paper. She didn’t rip off the frayed edges and to be a little creative, she wrote in purple pen. I saw her letter right when I walked into my room after finishing classes. I automatically knew it was from her, her writing is so distinguishable.
The letter read:
“Happy birthday (insert my Korean name here)!
Man… already 20… I guess you’re not a teen anymore, but then again, you’ve always been mature for your age, so turning “20″ just makes things official on paper. I’m sorry I don’t have any surprises or gifts prepared for you, and even this letter is just a very small thing. Still, I wanted to celebrate somehow, even if it is in a small way. I wanted to remind you through writing how very loved you are, not just by me (but of course by me too), but by everyone around you. You are a blessing to others and have the ability to profoundly touch the lives of the people you encounter. God gifted the world with you on this date 20 years ago, and the world has never been the same since! Always remember that I am the luckiest most grateful sister ever to get to call you my sister. I am always excited to brag about you and share you with others so that they can be jealous of me by realizing how lucky I am to have you.
Everyone loves you and supports you, so keep doing your best because that is more than enough. You are more than enough. Love and appreciate yourself first, and everything else will fall into place. If you ever need a hand, I am always here, even if I’m grumpier on some days. Never be afraid to ask me for help— that’s why I’m the unnie. I really believe that you have so much potential and a bright future, one where you’ll receive so much love and happiness. Just keep going, and of course, I know you will. I know you don’t quit or give up, and that makes you so admirable. That trait will make you shine.
There is a quote by Thomas Edison that I adore, and it goes like this: “When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this — you haven’t.” This may seem like a daunting quote, something that may seem tiring. But look again. This quote holds so much potential and infinite possibilities. How great is it that there is some sort of solution to everything?! And the process to find those solutions… it’s not easy. But those who choose to undertake it are brave. This is what separates “good” from “great,” and I think you are more than great.
Remember (insert my Korean name here), no life is ever a mistake, including yours. Take this to heart and be kind to yourself. Everyone is rooting for you, so don’t be ashamed to root for yourself too.
Love you, and happy birthday. Thanks for the best 20 year of my life.
When I finished reading this I could feel my eyes turn wet. I always knew my sister had a way with words, but rarely is it that we write each other what is really in our hearts. I believe that’s why I always look forward to her letters every year. I know that this letter is pretty personal but I felt that some of the things my sister said to me would strengthen and encourage you guys too.
Words can’t describe how much I love and appreciate her. Guys, hold your siblings close. I hope that this letter was able to help you, even if it is only a little.