By: Katie Cheesman, blogger at ‘The Silver Lining

My little sister is my best friend. It hasn’t always been that way though. We had about a 4 year period where we absolutely despised each other, mostly due to “sharing” clothes. After a few more years, we both kind of grew up and realized we needed each other. We became best friends and could finally laugh about the ridiculous fights we had in high school. When my sister announced that she wanted to serve an LDS mission, my heart sank a bit, but I was so proud of her.

Just 2 weeks until my little sister meets my first child

Maddie and Katie when they were little. (Image courtesy of Katie Cheesman)

She got called to the California, Ventura mission. I instantly imagined her fitting in perfectly there.. changing lives with her bold, yet sweet testimony. I still remember the night before she left.. We hugged each other tight and just sobbed. I knew it would be hard to live without her for 18 months.. but we both knew that she needed to be there.

Fast forward a few months: I was standing over a positive pregnancy test in disbelief. We hadn’t anticipated getting pregnant, at least not this soon.. But it was happening. After the initial shock and excitement, a painful thought came to mind, “Maddie won’t be here.” I was heart broken that my only sister and best friend would miss the birth of my first child, but then I thought about all of the lives she was changing, and the powerful emails I was getting each week, and suddenly I knew it would be okay. She was the very first person I told about expecting (aside from my husband) and I knew I could count on her to keep it a secret.

I’ve written my sister almost every week of her mission, and after I found out about the babe I continued to tell her everything. I gave her updates about the pregnancy, shared the birth story, and sent her an obnoxious amount of baby pictures. She gets home in two weeks and Mabel will get to meet her auntie Maddie. It’ll be such a beautiful and anticipated reunion!

Although part of me is sad she’s missed the first three months of Mabel’s life, I know the work she was doing was far more important. I’ve learned so much from her example and words of wisdom, and I can’t wait to share her mission emails with my sweet daughter when she’s old enough. I know most people say they look up to their older sister, but not in our relationship. I’m the one looking up to her, all five feet of her!