I would be lying if I said it was easy to grow up with a sibling that was born 9 years after you were... After all, it's essentially a decade, which brings with it a whole new generation and culture of living. The first few years of Annie's life were very fun for me because as a child myself, it was always comforting to walk into the bedroom next to mine and get to goof off with my baby sister! However, as I went into my preteen and high school years, I was dealing with my own rebellious stage and it didn't make it any easier for me having a little girl following me around making my identity crisis harder to deal with. She didn't understand me, and I didn't really understand her. The good news is that I knew when Annie entered this phase, I would be there to help her.
Fast forward about 5, I was in college and had a pretty good idea of who I was. Annie however, was entering middle school, which everyone knows is a tough time (especially for girls.) Her body and mind began to go through changes that I knew she didn't understand, because no one does; but this is the time in which she and I really started to become close. I always tried to be there for her to make her laugh and listen to her when mom and dad were being mean to her (her words, not mine.) ;)
Through her years at Sandburg I watched my little sister become "the popular girl" and it wasn't for any of the wrong reasons. She was so nice and inclusive to everyone. She couldn't stand the idea of leaving anyone out of the fun times she and her classmates had. She was helpful, caring and never had a bad word to say about anyone. When you hear these types of things as a big brother, you couldn't be happier... And what makes me most sad about Annie's passing is that this was only the beginning of the amazing woman she was destined to become. I know that I would have been there to give her the tough advice on issues she couldn't go to mom and dad for. And I know that our relationship would have only gotten stronger as she grew into a powerful young woman, through high school, college and beyond.
In short, I can tell you all about my baby sister Annie. But sadly, I can't tell you about who Annie Kristine LeGere would become; although I know it would be an amazing story.