Happy Birthday to that girl, right there!
Yep, as I write this my baby sister is getting ready to do what will really make me old. Turn 40 herself. It’s a little hard to deny that I’m 40 when she insists on turning 40 herself. *sigh* I guess I will now have to admit to being 41. Ha.
She is one of the three most precious gifts my parents gave me. It is said that I got what I asked for each time Mama had one of my siblings. Two girls and then the baby boy. Though I don’t really remember her being born, the memories we’ve made since then more than make up for the absence of that memory.
I never shared a room with her when we were little, but we shared couches and fold out beds during Mama’s HospitalStay. We never lived together as adults, but we took vacations together and shared late night UNO games and lots of laughter. (Whoa man!) When my life hit those bumps in the road, she was there to help me move on. Literally and figuratively. We’ve not lived in the same town for over a decade, but in the next month we will be living just across the county line from each other. And all I can say about that is, IT’S ABOUT TIME. Look out Georgia, it’s about to get real.
I love her so much. Mama called her Sunshine. And that is spot on. She brightens the room when she walks in, and she can make you laugh with her wit and attitude and the way she sees the world. If you need a laugh, get her to tell you about her recent experiences on a business trip to China. Oh, my aching laugh muscles! She’s the one who can get things done, who can make things happen. As one of our cousins put it, “We sure are glad she’s on our side, aren’t we?” Yep. For sure. I admire her business acumen, and she is an incredible Mama. Her little guy is her world.
She is also a fabulous aunt, or so I’ve been told by my crew. And they would know. My children call her Gnomee. (no-mee) When our Princess was small, my sister teased her by saying, “You don’t know me, you don’t know me…..” and it stuck. One time when we were out at a restaurant where they call out your name to pick up your order, we gave the name “Gnomee” with our order. We hooted when they called out “G-Nomee, G-Nomee, your order is ready!”
She is the type of wife who lays in bed, completely still, waiting for her husband to come to bed. Then, just as he’s settling in, she pops straight up, scaring the wits out of him. I love the stories of their family games of hide and seek and chase. She loves and loves fiercely, and she fights hard for those she loves. She reminds me of Mama in that way.
When our cousin was in the hospital, I stayed there that last night with her. One of the hospitalists came in to consult on the case. A good doctor with a kind heart, she shared the story of her own loss as she learned of the loss in our family. Her aunt had died just a few months before. She said, “Yeah, she and my Mama are probably up there doing just what they did down here. They were a couple of mess cats!” I loved it. I told my sister that story and she said, “That’s what we are–a couple of mess cats for sure!” And so we are.
This evening one of my friends from Daybreak shared a heartbreaking story with me and my crew. As I listened, I thought about all of the brokenness and darkness in this world. I later had to explain to my littles about broken homes and people who don’t know how to be good parents. It flat broke my heart. I know I’m lucky. And I give thanks for my sister and those like her, who can shed light wherever they go–not with their heads buried in the sand, but rubbing their hands together with an attitude of “Okay we got this. Let’s see what we can do.” She truly is a light of love in my life, and I don’t know what I’d do without her. I love you, Mess Cat–can’t wait to see where this next part of the journey is going to take us! Happy Birthday, but more importantly, Happy Everyday!