Carrie is 6 years older than me. She married at 18, and so in some ways I had to separate childhoods – one with her, and one without. I will say that life for the first born in a family is much tougher than that of the baby. Carrie paved the way for me. We also became very close during my teen years. I am thankful for her.
When I was 4 years old, there was a storm and a power outage in the neighborhood. Wind was howling. Flickering shadows of candles and flashlights did not bring comfort to my 4 year old heart. I was scared and did not want to sleep in my room. Carrie invited me to her room for the night. We built a fort on her bed. I loved story books with the corresponding audio cassettes. (Ironically, Hansel & Gretel was my favorite, exposing early signs of my dark side.) Carrie let me pile books and toys into our fort, and she rode the storm out with me, her baby sister. She put her arm around me and turned pages of my story books. She went out of her way to not only make me feel safe, but made me believe storms are cool. When the thunder roared and I would jump, she would turn it into a game saying. “Let’s see if there’s lightning!” See, Jenny, storms are cool.” Storms weren’t cool to me at all, but Carrie was.