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My Sister and Pete's Wedding

My sister is absolutely beautiful. And one could argue that the dress, the hair do, the makeup, her amazingly warm and thoughtful heart really makes her that beautiful... but I am going to let you in on a secret. There's something that sets this moment apart from her usual and perpetual beauty, something that's far more powerful yet simple than the love she spreads around to whomever she can reach out to: happiness.


I have known my sister before we were both even born. We were probably eggs back then in our mother, but she was that one egg that kept looking out for all the others. She made sure that every other egg was happy, and knew what was going on. I'm sure that when it was her turn to become the beautiful person that she is today, she gave me a reassuring nod that everything would be ok. And it would be, because of her. Yes, super strange egg story, but let's continue =)


Since I was born, my sister has been there for me. I lived a very spoiled life, and still do! She has been my role model, my inspiration, and my sister, the best sister ever. She's taken care of me beyond anything I could even imagine. Even through her shouting and yelling at me whenever I turned her "My Little Ponies" into my Gi-Joe's warhorses, and when I snuck into her room to look at all her cool stuff when she wasn't home, she always took care of me.


And it wasn't only me, everyone she met was touched by her kindness. She also attracted the most awesome friends ever, and with them they became successful in their own ways, but the closeness and unconditional care for each other always makes me look on with awe. Her friends and our family were there for my sister as much as she was there for us, but she has always been incredibly independent and strong.


I remember when she wanted to scan negative prints of her film camera into our computer at home. She struggled with it for hours and hours, and when I came home she had given up. It was a simple and trivial thing, but when she saw me she smiled and went to her room. My mom told me she had been trying to do something with the computer all day, and said I should go help her. I realized what she was trying to do, and at that point, I felt sad that she wasn't able to do it for so long, never asked for help, and now that it didn't work out, she was able to calmly go on to something else. Me? I would've asked for help within 10 seconds of something not working, I would've screamed and shouted. But she was strong.


When she got into college, it was all her. My parents didn't even know she was at the age for college. I remember the morning when she went to my parent's room, and I was able to her. She announced that she was going to a college called "Columbia." My dad said, "South America? College already?" My sister had applied and gotten into one of the world's best colleges, all on her own. The frustration, stress, and everything she took on herself. I couldn't be any prouder than that. My parents were amazed. She got as many scholarships as possible to pay for it, and she made the most out of her education. I never heard a single complaint from her through anything.


After graduating undergrad, she went on to Boalt Law School, and while there she met Pete.


The only times I see my sister stress out, is when she's trying to figure out something for me (like college apps), or if she's trying to help parents or friends out with something. When she went to Law School, that was the first time I saw her stress about something for herself. Studying and all that was hard on her.


When she graduated, she went on to a huge law firm in San Francisco. She quickly took on big cases, one noteable one took place in Los Angeles. I went to visit her one day, since LA was pretty close to my college (UC Santa Barbara, go gauchos!), and expected to see my usual friendly sister, who went way out of her way to make me happy. She was the one person I could turn to, no matter what, to make me smile. But when I saw her, I was scared. She was stressed, she couldn't smile, and she was frustrated at everything. Never did I ever think or even expect the world to come to a point where she was beyond calming herself down.


I didn't know what to say or do.


It was around 9:30pm, and she just had a 14 hour work day (or so). Her company gave her a really nicely furnished temporary apartment while she was working on the case in LA. I was just gonna hangout and crash with her over the weekend since I wanted to be wherever my sister was. Heck, I was even planning to goto Law School myself, so why not try to shadow her?


By that time, Pete was already with my sister, and he had come down to LA to visit her as well. I wondered if he was just there to hangout as well. I liked Pete, but I didn't know exactly why yet, it was just a feeling.


The whole day while my sister was at work, and while I was waiting for her to get back to her apartment, me and Pete hung out. We walked around downtown LA, and just chilled at the apartment. Pete had been checking the T.V. throughout the day, and was doing some work of his own.


When my sister came back, and after I was surprised by how stressed she was, was the precise moment I realized why I liked Pete, and why I would always like Pete.


He came to the rescue. He told her he had recorded all her favorite T.V. shows, and brought some movies if she wanted to watch that, and kept asking her if she'd like to take a nice shower and then come back and watch some T.V. with him on the couch. He kept gently encouraging her to relax and to come hang out with him. She refused for a long time.


I think I must have stared blankly in silence at my computer for about 2 hours, but by the time I realized what I had been doing (which was nothing) for that time, I heard my sister laugh. I looked over at the couch, and there she was, smiling and laughing with Pete. Sharing her day with him. Pete never ceased to smile at her, to listen to her, and to help her through the stress. His patience, respect, and love for her became crystal clear to me. At that moment, I knew that my sister had finally found the one who could give her the one piece of her life that makes her completely beautiful: happiness.


Last weekend at my Sister's wedding, I saw her happiness, and she was beautiful.

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Taken on May 22, 2010