She was the ultimate ham, the “look at me” girl, dancing, singing, telling stories, a broadway show all in herself. Her short heavy black hair, chubby little cheeks, squeaky little voice, she was the light of every room she entered, the center of attention, and not unwanted. Cute beyond any measure of cuteness, 18 by the time she was four, making friends everywhere she went.
He wasn’t shy, but not outgoing. He loved to laugh and laughed hard. He would run in and out of a room, his short black hair, chubby dark cheeks and squinty eyes, never desiring to be the center of attention, but happy to be playing something, basketball, baseball, football. Unlike her he didn’t make friends instantaneously, it usually took some time. But his friends were always his friends. He was always happy, always hungry and very easy-going. They were a perfect complement to each other, Best friends, buddies and siblings.
They were twins, if not by blood, by family. They journeyed through every phase of life together, walking, home school, Sunday school, T-ball, getting new brother’s and sisters, becoming annoyed with new brother and sisters and even High School. Although as they got older their interests may not have stayed the same, her the social butterfly making a new friend every day, dancing, drama ( a suitable fit) and any other activity she could get him to drive her to. Him, football, baseball, and eventually settling on basketball. He became a very hard studier, pushing himself far beyond average, very organized and self motivated. He made a few friends, but they were his friends, and that is all he needed. His quiet demeanor making him mysterious and popular although not to his liking. She at every dance, he at none. He studying hard for every test, her waiting for the last-minute choosing to read books instead. The results were very similar, the grades very similar, they are very different, but very similar.
Two finally adjusted kids, the oldest of this family of 8, the leaders, the ones who had to suffer through our blunders as parents, our impatience, often taken for granted as new babies came. They became our rocks. The ones we counted on to come through for us, that we leaned on, that we trusted to be Godly, wholesome people, the ones to help us with the rest of the family. And now together they turn 18. Likely this is the last year they will live with us, and they will be missed. The Bible says in God’s eyes a day is like a thousand years and life is but a twinkle of an eye. Looking back in my mind’s eye, I think I know what that means now. Because as much as I love them now, as proud as I am of what they have become and as excited as I am for where they are going, they will always live in my heart as the two-three year old gifts from God who brightened even minute of my life and the lives of those that had the pleasure to meet them.
I pray Alli and Dorian that you find joy in this life through your relationship with God and others, and that you follow the path that he leads you on. Your mom and I will always pray for you, always be here for you and are always forever thankful for all you have brought into our lives. You could never be replaced and you could not be loved more. Thank you for being awesome role models for all your younger siblings. You are awesome adults, but you will always be our oldest LITTLE boy and girl. We are confident that no matter where you go or what you do you will excel. Thank you so much for all you have brought into my life and all you will continue to bring. And if you ever decide to go into business together, Alli you be the “talent” Dorian you be the manager and I promise you will be unstoppable. .