Saturday, June 18, 2011


I haven't posted in a while, but this is one occasion I didn't want to pass by without being recorded here.  My older sister Hannah is getting married tomorrow.

I've known Hannah for my whole life, and I probably know her as well as I know any other person.  Because we're less than a year and a half apart, while Andrew came along over three years later, we've always had a special bond.  We're not always the best to each other, but we have a fierce loyalty, and any bad feelings are always resolved quickly.  Growing up, I always wanted to hang out with Hannah and her friends.  This was not, as Hannah says, just because I liked her friends.  Instead, it was because I enjoyed Hannah's company and wanted to be like her.

When I skipped a grade and we were in the same grade for all of high school, our relationship became much closer and largely the way it is today.  We had pretty much the same circle of friends, and they all thought of us as the 'McKinley twins'.  I'm grateful for Hannah allowing me, her little brother, to share great friends and good experiences in high school.  Our junior year, I helped her with calculus after school nearly every day, and she often reminds me of that, but she probably doesn't realize that she helped me just as much that year emotionally and socially.  I would have made friends without her help, but alone I don't think I would have had nearly as many or as good and long lasting of friends, and my social life would have been much less full and happy.

Many people say they look up to their older brothers for having and fulfilling the desire to serve a mission.  I've never had an older brother, but I admired Hannah for always wanting to serve a mission and being an example of testimony and righteousness.  Although I left on my mission first, she helped me grow in my desire to serve.  When she left a few months later, her weekly emails full of miracles and testimony builders were always a source of inspiration and strength.

I've loved having Hannah at BYU with me for our entire undergraduate experience, and I know I'll miss that next year.  I'm thankful for her thoughtfulness, and I don't say it often enough.  She has done more than her fair share of maintaining the car, and I'm always grateful that she's willing to spend her time doing that for both of us when I'm often busy or simply lazy.

Most of all, I'm grateful for having someone in my life that always knows what I'm thinking and supports me completely.  We're so alike in so many ways - studying Chinese and economics, enjoying board games, independent and headstrong, to name just a few - and when I'm sure that no one knows what my life is like, even my roommates, I can always talk to Hannah for a few minutes and know she'll understand.  She's getting married tomorrow, and so our relationship will change, of course, but hopefully for the better.

My whole life I've harbored a secret wish that I could have had a twin, someone to compete with and talk to and hang out with.  I've realized lately that I've had one all along.  Hannah, I love you so much and wish you the very best with Brent!


McKinley Twin #2