Miranda Casanova is a 22-year-old college student and motivational speaker. She has written for USA Today and Hello Giggles.
I was supposed to have a twin sister but she passed away at birth.
My mom went to a psychic once who told her that my sister died because I was the one “meant to accomplish something bigger” than I could imagine, and that my sister had to stay behind. It’s been two years since my mom relayed the message to me and while knowing this provided me with a new comfort, I still found myself longing for the bond only a sibling could give me. As an only child in a wheelchair, my tendency to feel alone constantly heightened as I hit my late teen years. Then, in the fall of 2013, I signed up for a creative writing class in community college, and with a little magic and help from a designer handbag, my life changed forever.
Sleepless, groggy, and slightly grumpy due to the lack of caffeine running through my veins, I parked my bedazzled motor scooter alongside the long desk in the back of the classroom and retrieved that day’s assignment from my backpack. At first, my glance to the left was quick, but upon looking again, my eyes immediately locked with a beautiful black leather Kate Spade purse. I don’t know if it was due to the lack of sleep or the state of delirium I was in, but without thinking, I asked my classmate, Kendra: “Can I take a picture with your bag?” Mind you, I had never spoken to her and the only interactions we had up until my embarrassing question were when she opened up the classroom door for me when I struggled to open it myself.
And here I was. I knew nothing about this person other than she was in my class and always seemed to be sleeping in the far corner. Despite my embarrassment, however, I realize that my lack of sleep contributed to blessing me with the greatest “sistership” I could have wished for. After that morning, we bonded over everything: relationships, family, food, and yes, Kate Spade. We sat at lunch tables or in her car with the seats reclined sharing our hopes, our dreams, and our stories of triumph. She spoke of her struggles with her mother’s death and I spoke of the difficulties of being in an abusive relationship. Within a few months, the hole in my heart began to shrink up and I felt the loneliness I had become accustomed to, slowly fade away, day after day.
Perhaps the most important and cherished aspect of Kendra and I’s bond is her acceptance of my disability and her unwavering dedication to making sure I live as normal a life as possible. Even though she will never be able to truly understand my day-today strife as a result of Cerebral Palsy, she is a constant source of strength on the days when everything seems to be too much, and she has told me that I am hers as well. Kendra knows that I am unable to drive, and whenever I am having a less-than-stellar day, she instinctively knows that I require a trip to Taco Bell to unwind. Within an hour, she’s walking in my front door, calling my name in a sing-songy voice. We then converse through tears, laughter or both while devouring a Burrito Supreme, and my frustration melts away.
In the last three years, we have cried to each other on the phone countless times, held each other close when we need to be reminded that we are not alone, and the phrase “I love you” has been said at the end of every statement since the first day we met. We have been there for each other through the pep talks, the drunk texts, the heartbreak and happiness, and while we do disagree with each other more often than we’d care to admit, no matter what, we have each other’s backs.
I heard someone say to me once that you can only have a “real sibling” by blood and for a while, I held onto that belief and it tore me apart because I knew that if that were the case, I wouldn’t feel a sisterly bond for my entire life. Through my friendship with Kendra, however, I realize how wrong that person was, and how wrong I was for believing it. In the last three years, I have seen what it means to have a sister because I have one in her. She consistently comes through for me when I need her and drops whatever she’s doing if I am in distress or I need help, she has helped me defeat my depression time and time again and she has shown me that there is always happiness and hope if you’re willing to look for it.
When I think of who I want to help my future husband propose, who I want to help plan my wedding and be my maid of honor, when I think of who I want beside me in the hospital when I have my first child, and when I think of who I want to name my first child after, I immediately think of Kendra because she’s not just my best friend. She is my sister. The bond that I’ve created with her has withstood some of the most malicious situations and saddest of times, but I am more than certain that there is nothing that can break it, and I am so thankful for that… and of course, for Kate Spade, too.