…I know I already said happy birthday, but I had to tell the world how obsessed I am with you, k? humor me for a bit.

When I was six years old, I told my first grade teacher that I wanted to be Yasmine when I grew up. She laughed indulgently and cooed about how cute it was that I loved my big sister so much, but I knew then as I know now that Yasmine is so much more than a big sister, she is the ultimate role model.

Yasmine taught me what friendship was all about. There was a period of time, I believe around 7,  although I remember most of my childhood based on what house rather than age, so around Wadsworth street, when upon seeing Yasmine I would scream “CLINGY” and run as fast as my little legs would carry me to wherever she was. As I launched myself onto her, all wild grin and unruly limbs, she would always be waiting with outstretched arms and a toothy smile. She was never embarrassed of me, or too busy for me, she was always just my sister. My person.

It’s been 20 years now, and Yasmine has never stopped catching me. She is the most amazing person that so many people will ever have the honor of knowing. Her intelligence, endurance, compassion, faith, strength, and unfailing wit know no bounds. I have never met a person with such a profound capacity for love and generosity, and I don’t think I ever will.

When I started this blog, and decided on the Toni Morrison quote for the home page, Yasmine was who I had in mind. She is the bomb black hijabi and my friend of mind. She gathers me, and takes pieces of herself to give me what I am missing.

And so to my big sister, my person, on your special day, I want to thank you for letting me hang out with superwoman. I don’t know many people who get to watch Gilmore Girls and eat junk food with their heroes. I am so lucky to bear witness to all your triumphs, as you deserve every single one. From graduating with two degrees in three years, to helping end Veteran’s homelessness in Connecticut, to taking on the big city with your special mix of quiet determination and razor sharp foresight, you make being an audience to your existence a joy.

Let’s embarrass Mama with our grocery store dancing forever, kay?

love always,

your baby sister.

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