My sister was always the one who really knew me. Not just an idea of me or who she wanted me to be. She always saw me.
It's easy to believe someone knows you well because you've known them all of your life. Perhaps you even grew up in the same household. It wasn't until recent years where I came to realize that there are only a few people in my life who I believe truly know me, have known me, and have never stopped loving me despite seeing every part of me - especially the flawed parts.
Reinna Sherie. She was always my best friend. Like - truly. She knows me.
We grew up together. We were homeschooled together for a season. We spent many days creating homemade films together. We re-made our own version of Titanic together - she was Rose, I was Jack. We held runway fashion shows up and down our staircase. We fought over pets. We fought over clothes. We wore matching pink poly pajamas through the 90s. We talked about boys. We shared our secrets. We shared a bunk bed. Even into adulthood, our conversations deepened. While rebuke and accountability is important in this faith walk, it's also important to have someone just there with you. Listening. Present with you and not thinking about what to say next. Still. Alongside. Knowing you and loving you. That's her. That's Reinna Sherie.
The best part about her is that she never made me feel less than. She never had a "holier than thou" way about her. Reinna is someone who always made me feel at home. She has a way of always making you feel safe.
She has also gone through mountains of obstacles, and she continues to endure. She keeps it real. Perhaps this is why she is so loving, so empathetic, so gracious. She has gone through near-death experiences. She has lived through the pain of loss. She has also lived through the joy of love, of mothering, of friendship. She's an entire book of experiences and stories, and she will only let you leave with the feeling of being loved at the end of it. No matter who you are. She does this. She loves.
If you just talk to her. Call her. Ask her questions. Share your own struggles and stories. She will respond. She will listen. She always does. If you do know her, I'm sure you'd agree. If you don't, it's probably because you haven't taken the time to actually sit down and call her. Don't call with an agenda or list of things to discuss. Call with no agenda. She loves with no agenda. She loves purely like that.
I named this set after her because I believe we go so well together - more than being sisters and related by blood. Through all of my highs and lows, she has stood by me. Through all of the times I built up reasons for her to break her trust in me, she has extended me grace and loved me through the rockiest walks.
She is steadfast. She is unafraid to say her truth even if it rocks the boat. She is always with me even while being on the other side of the country.
This is my ode to her. My song to her and for her.