At sixteen, when I tried hooking you up with my husband, Randy, before I realized that I wanted him for myself, I told you about his gun-toting, mountain man physique that was similar to Daniel Day-Lewis in Last of the Mohicans—minus, of course, the bare chest and buckskin. But even when I left you behind that Fourth of July weekend to chase after that gun-toting, mountain man who I’d tried hooking up with you, you just rolled your eyes and indulged my whims as the film we most lived out was Sense and Sensibility; you the patient Elinor to my impulsive Marianne.
After I left for college, these roles of ours did not change, so I am sure when you traveled out to homecoming that October day, you were just indulging my impulsive matchmaking whims as you had so often before. Then the baseball-playing, professor-type boy from my literary criticism class met the tall, redheaded, and homeschooled girl. I don’t know if it was Justin’s girl jeans or his serenading you with Emo lyrics on a train bridge at three o’clock in the morning, but something between the two of you clicked.
I knew it, and deep down so did you, because even after we sneaked back into my dorm and you took the top bunk, you thrashed so much I couldn't sleep.
Our cozy band of Little Women was going through a season of change, and I felt like dramatic Josephine March howling against the prospect of seeing those life leaves slowly turn. But, as it turned out, you were also not ready for that change. So, as our future Mohican husbands patiently waited for us to balance our sensibility with sense, you and I continued to have adventures beneath winter and spring skies.
These adventures were not always easy, and the summer before I married, the movie that best depicted our lives – that best depicted your strength – was Braveheart. You, the tall, redheaded, homeschooled girl, for one hundred days literally and figuratively wielded your Braveheart sword against cancer and screamed “Freedom!” For one hundred days, I watched you battle against something that was unseen and yet so strong. That bittersweet summer caused us both to grow, to change from girls to women, and in that sometimes painful metamorphosis, our sensibility was balanced with sense; the sense to know that life is short and should be grasped with every fiber in our beings.
To celebrate your triumph over cancer and to embrace our rapidly changing lives, we traveled across the pond to the UK. We rode the underground and strolled through Covent Gardens; we savored cream tea in the Cotswolds and hiked wind-lashed Scottish hills where the true Braveheart perhaps wielded his sword; we trailed along the Irish Sea to a town called Bray and then back again, but – of course – paused for mint ice-cream along the way. And in all of that splendor, in all of that adventure, something was missing.
They were missing.
The men who were brave enough, sensible enough, patient enough to wait to woo, were not along for the journey, and so that journey was incomplete. Our cozy band of Little Women was opening up to include men, and because we had finally attained that balance of Sense and Sensibility, we dropped our Pride and Prejudice and let our Mohican men in, knowing that our life adventure and happiness would not quite be the same without them.
Embrace it, my sister, my friend.
Embrace the happiness, the adventure, and your baseball-playing Mohican.
I love you to life.
Video by Sam Siske