Today is August 15th - which means tomorrow is my friend Sue's birthday, and then the next day (the 17th) is my sister Sue's birthday. They are two very important people to me and just happen to have birthdays back to back.
Today I thought I'd take a few minutes to write a little tribute to my sister as her birthday approaches. I won't say which one it is but I will say she is my OLDER sister! ha! And, she always will be! ( :
But, you know, when you get to the ages we are in life a few years older or younger doesn't really matter anymore. It certainly doesn't matter like when we were kids and the 5 year gap seemed huge. We were always in different schools, and certainly had different friends and interests back then.
My sister Sue was the "path maker" as the oldest of the three of us (brother Mark is in the middle.) As that, she had the joy/difficulty of experiencing everything first - the first sleepover at a friend's house, the first one to date, the first to drive, the first to head off to college, etc. She had the job/privilege of testing our parents. Just how far could she go? What were the boundaries? What outfit could she walk out of the house wearing? ( I listened and learned! ha)
I remember few arguments with our Mom & Dad - okay, I do remember Sue had one yelling match with my mother. I don't know what it was about, but it didn't happen often in our household. We didn't raise voices to each other as a rule. I'm guessing it was over her wanting to go somewhere and my Mom said no. Maybe it was the length of her skirt (or should I say the shortness of her skirt) or how she wore her midi-blouse. Here's a bit of trivia: Sue attended a public school in East Cleveland that at the time had a dress code that required all girls to wear a sailor-style type of blouse. I remember Sue had them in different colors - some short sleeved, some long sleeved. She would use straight pins to pin them to fit tightly at the waist. For some reason as a goofy little sister I thought that was pretty cool.
Anyway, my sister went off to college, and then moved away - and I think she only lived back at our house for a short while after that. I think I can say she made some choices that in hindsight were not the best, but she was headstrong and did them. That's what an oldest child has to do. Go out there... do it.
Each of us kids gave our parents are few gray hairs a long the way! I took a year off of college between my sophomore and junior years and I'm sure they wondered what I was thinking. From my perspective they were "cool" about it and didn't lecture. But, Dad did not have to give us a stern talking to because he gave us the "evil eye" and we knew that was trouble, and that we had disappointed him.
Sister Sue has worked all her life. Even during her years when raising a young daughter. I admire that dedication because I know it was hard and there were days when her daughter was sick, or she was sick, and the days were long. She didn't get much help. But for years work was also therapy, and a financial AND emotional source of income.
There was a time in her life, almost 10 years ago now, when Sue went from married to widowed - and then she made a move, and her daughter got married and moved... and there were CHANGES with a capital C. Tough times for anyone. But, it made her stronger and very self-dependent. Again, traits I admire in her! She really became her own person! She found enjoyment in playing the flute (a renewed love from school days) and made friends through bands, her work, and church.
Now - she's got 2 grandsons and yes, they are a whole new love in Sue's life. Lucky her!
So, as my sister celebrates this #$#% birthday (with a new bionic plate in her leg! She know is the "flip-flop queen!") I want to wish her a wonderful year ahead - and say thanks for putting up with this annoying baby sister - not that she had a choice! ha It's true that as we all age, family takes on a whole new additional meaning. We share genes, and history, and memories... sad and good times together. Thankfully, lots of laughs too!
Sue: Thanks for being my OLDER sister!!!