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graduation | Jen Abert Photography

Dear Kelsey,

I remember, a very long time ago (or so it seems), 3-year-old me waiting eagerly ¬†for Mom and Dad’s car to show up with a new addition to our family (**spoilers: it was you**). I knew we were going to be BFF’s long before that was a thing. I was right, of course (I usually am). We had our differences, as people do, and we fought occasionally, as siblings do, but you never stopped being the person I wanted to hang out with (which made me kind of a lame-o in high school).

I admired you. You were always a hard worker, and you never took “no” for an answer. Hell, you drove 7 hours and 400 miles to prove that your little feet could reach the pedals after some higher-up told you that you didn’t meet the minimum requirements to fly helicopters. But here you are (all 5 feet, 2 and a half inches of you), a fresh aviation graduate, one of three women in a class of almost sixty.[slideshow]

I’ve always been proud to call you my sister (even if I pretended not to be). I’ll miss you while you’re gone, off saving the world, or whatever it is you do. But I’ll be here, still proud of you, and counting the days till I can see my best friend again.