sparkly shoes & sisters


 My sister Rachel came to visit us in Nashville this weekend which brought me to the realization that I’ve never told you about my wonderful sisters. Rachel is currently living in Turkey teaching English, which means she lives where Santa Claus was born (who knew?!) and has a proposal story concerning her and a street kabob seller. In Turkish, mind you. She’ll always have a good story to tell at cocktail parties.

Since I am older, I have played the role in Rachel’s life of the watchful one-letting her know the good stuff life is made of and watching out for her future. One of her favorite memories together is when I told her all about college guys while we floated on rafts in the middle of a lake. I told her what was expected on fraternity formals, about the horrors of date-rape, & about how easy it was to give it all away for a charming smile & a little attention. At my rehearsal dinner, Rachel stood up and said our little talk on those rafts changed college for her-and she passed down my advice to all her close friends. It’s amazing how little sisters are always observing us-listening to advice years later we don’t even remember giving.

There is something about being around a sister that resembles time-travel. One night this weekend, Rachel and I piled on the surrounded by pictures, as I read one of my high school journals she’d brought me aloud {in my high school voice}. Let’s just say, I ended an entry with “holla at a playa!!”. . . and there went half my readership. The laughter, the tears, the hilarity of it all-we traveled back in time. We were playing in the creek, building snow men, making up synchronized swimming routines, tried to lose weight, & dreaming about falling in love. We then watched Back to the Future and were 12 all over again.

One day, when I stand up at Rachel’s rehearsal dinner, I will share this quote:

“Of two sisters one is always the watcher, one the dancer.”― Louise Gluck

When Rachel came to visit me in China, I dared her to “ganbei” cheers to the table of men next to us & she did it without hesitation (7 shots later . . .). When the waitresses in China got up to dance on the tables, she joined them. She’s one of those people who can make a 12 hour car ride wildly entertaining. Rachel is the best dancer I know-and her ability to make people around her feel like long-long friends is truly uncanny (maybe why the Kabob seller proposed, Rach. . .). I’m the older sister with a 5 year plan, often fretting about the future, learning so many life lessons the hard way. Rachel seems to gracefully dance her way through life; not perfectly, as no one is, but she’s the sister who made three pairs of sparkly shoes last week. . . just because.

I love my sister!

Rachel, may you keep dancing your way through life & bringing joy to those around you. The children you are teaching are incredibly blessed, for when you look into their eyes they see the light of Christ.

What do you love about your sister?

P.S. My other little sister, Virginia, is an incredible artist. Check out her work!

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10 Responses to “sparkly shoes & sisters”
  1. Tatuu says:

    Can I just like this post and leave it at that? At some point I fought tears of joy…bless you Rachel…and you too big sister.

  2. Heather says:

    I’ve always loved that Louise Glück quote; I didn’t know that you, too, were a purveyor of poetry, Ruthie. I also have a sister named Rachael – she spells her name with an added “a” – and the thing I love most about her, hands down, is her grace and open mind. She is always willing to be told she is wrong and will patiently, gracefully listen to critiques and consider them even when they are not deserved or warranted. I wish with everything in me I were more like her. She is simply amazing. Sounds like your Rachel is amazing, too!

    • Ruthie Dean says:

      I love that you have a sister named Rachael, too! I wouldn’t say I’m a purveyor of poetry, but its definitely something I want to develop more interest in. Hope you are well!

  3. Rachel says:

    Ruthie! You are an amazing older sister and if I had a blog I would write about you! Your ability to put into words experiences, thoughts, desires, and needs is incredible and I know you are touching so many lives. I love you so much. more than dancing I would venture to say!
    And by the way, sparkly shoes are indeed the best pick-me-ups/conversation-starters (oh these?! No, they aren’t Marc Jacobs, I made them!) / I-am-the-only-cool-woman-in-this-bar-and-Im-here-to-DANCE!
    Everyone should make a pair
    “life’s not about waiting for the storm to pass, its about learning to dance in the rain!”
    thanks for making me only ask once, before you let yourself wholeheartedly be dragged to dance in the rain with me!

    • Ruthie Dean says:

      Speaking of having a blog . . . isn’t that something you are going to do?! HA! I love you so much dear sister and I really should edit the post and include the story about dancing in the rain. In the flooding streets of Ukraine, no doubt. If you love me more than dancing, I love you more than writing. Deal? Deal.

  4. Sierra says:

    Aw, I love this!! You two are gorgeous. :) I, too, have a sister that is younger than me… By a precise 27 minutes. :) when we’re somewhere and she’s not right behind me, I find myself feeling rather lost.. True story. Gracious, patient & forgiving!!

  5. Ruthie, I just love your site & I always enjoy the articles. They are so uplifting & always right on point! And that top is so pretty! Where did you get that if you don’t mind me asking?!

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