By Laura Edwards

Taylor will celebrate her 14th birthday on August 19 – one week from today.

My little sister’s life began during the first week of my junior year of high school. I was 16 years old. I didn’t bother leaving soccer practice to see her at the hospital. I already had an annoying 11-year-old little brother, and I didn’t want a little sister.

I fell in love with Taylor the moment Mom and Dad brought her home; we became fast friends.

She helped me with my homework.

Laura and Taylor at desk

She put up with my bear hugs.

Taylor and Laura on the hearth

We worked on our tans together.

Laura and Taylor on the balcony

She won the biggest fan award on my college graduation day.

Laura's graduation day

She was the best senior flower girl ever.

flower girl

She rocked a stuffed chipmunk head for an entire day at Disney World, because Chip and Dale are my favorite Disney characters.


She took me to my first Cheetah Girls concert.

cheetah girls

She helped me paint the rock at her school in her favorite colors – purple and pink – for her half-birthday just over a month after she had major brain surgery.

Fletcher rock

She gave me an excuse to trick-or-treat on Halloween long after I outgrew trick-or-treating.


She thinks NBA players who used to play for the North Carolina Tar Heels are cool, because that’s her sister’s team.

Raymond Felton

She gave her big sister – a lifelong runner – a greater purpose for all those miles.

loopy run

She gave new meaning to laughter – and love.


Dr. Seuss once said, “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”

I’ll never be ready for it to be over.

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