Some girls pray for a dollhouse or the latest Barbie for their 8th birthday, but I was praying for something far greater. When I woke up on September 19, 1992, I got the greatest birthday surprise of my life. My parents told me that they were headed to the hospital because my sister Grace was on her way.

You see, for months I had been praying… begging… pleading God to let my baby sister be born on my birthday. There was no way I could have known then the joy that she would bring to my life.

Gracie has filled my life with so many wonderful memories… all the hats my mom made her wear as a baby (which I secretly thought were the cutest things imaginable), the infamous broken leg and the ensuing full-length cast that she drug around the entire summer, all our shared birthdays and a lot of pink, strawberry cakes with pink candles, our love of football (and more specifically Alabama football), the many tears I cried when I had to say goodbye to her as they left my dorm room for the first time, how flattered I was when Mom told me that she slept in my bed when she would miss me, how happy I was to have her as my maid-of-honor and the shrill in her voice when I told her that she was going to be an aunt… I can’t wait to hear that sound again when God blesses us with another baby…

She’s more than a sister and we share more than a birthday. This past week, I was reminded once again of how much my life was changed on September 19, 1992. I will never be able to tell her how much I love her, but I will never stop trying. I love you, Gracie!

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