Today is August 11th and it just so happens to be my big sister's Birthday. I really like the fact that no matter how many years this happens, she will always be older than me. It's as though she has gone ahead of me our whole lives to scout out what's to come and returns with all the warnings. My sister has watched out for me my whole life. She babysat me and then my little sister, my little brother, then my oldest, to youngest daughters. It seems she has watched over and looked out for all of us over the years but I guess that's what the oldest child does.
I could go on and on about who she is to all of us and all the people she has been over the years, from Police officer to teacher to an educator of teachers. I could talk about her BS, MS, and her PHD. I could tell you about her husband, her friends and all the childrens' lives she's touched over her years of teaching but not today. I realized when I was texting her this morning that I'm the one who has benefitted the most by my sister being born.
She has been so many things to so many people but she has been my sister, best-friend, enemy, twin, mother, counselor and shoulder to cry on, drill sergeant, my motivator, entertainer, and my inspiration. Cathy has been my leader in delinquency, my spiritual leader, and my truth meter. My truth meter, she has been the one person in my life that keeps the truth of who I am, who I was and who I can be. She validates my history because she was next to me and she knows where I came from. She pushes me to be who she knows I can be because she believes in me probably more than any person I have in my life.
When I'm down on my self and want to wallow there for a bit she is not the person to call. She has never allowed me to stay in the dark. She pulls me into the light and reality of who I am and reminds me of the strength I posses in my relationship with Christ. My sister has continually reminded me of my worth for over 45 years.
Here we are as tiny girls in our backyard. I
was totally jealous of her hairpiece. PS she
was also way better at posing.
The next pics are from my mom's "old-time
picture" phase. I was so mad I had to wear
the same dress every time!
Mom joined us for this one and it actually made
it onto the Christmas card.
See, the thing is I always thought everything Cathy did was cool and she was always the smart one that did everything right. Our mom was single by the time I was four and Cathy was six. Later on Cathy began to fill the role of babysitter and made sure I was cared for and kept in line. She had the responsibility to watch me everyday and make sure I did my chores. This was not an easy task but she took it on and made sure I was safe. Of course we fought and almost killed each other a couple of times. We had amazing times of fun and laughter and times of crazy violence against each other. We kept each other's secrets and risked our lives together by the things we did, like hitch-hicking to the beach and making homemade candles.
One year we wanted to make a present for our mom for Mother's Day or Valentine's Day and we melted old candles in hopes of molding them into a new candle in the shape of the word MOM. However, the wax caught on fire and I was instructed to throw water on it. The explosion sent me running out the front door screaming! When I returned I found the kitchen dripping in wax. It was everywhere from the ceiling to the floor. This sort of thing was a regular occurrence at our house and it was the two of us against the world.
These were taken at Magic Mountain in the 70's. It was always great having a partner to ride on roller coasters everywhere (There's symbolism for you). We always had a partner wherever we went.
This is Gypsie, our cat of 16 years. We fought over her and were always ripping her out of the other's arms.
"Run Gypsie, run!"
No Christmas went by without a fabulous performance put on by the two of us. Each show came included with a fight between us, it was just part of the show dynamics.
Each Christmas was divided between our parents but It was always good knowing we'd
spend the entirety of every holiday together.
No story about our childhood is complete without mentioning our Halloween parties and haunted houses. We were famous in our neighborhood for our haunted houses during trick or treating. Our Mom was a make up artist on those nights and the kids loved having to walk through our house of horrors!
My sister and I are both summer babies and our Birthdays are only three weeks apart. We spent the many years of our childhood celebrating our birthdays together. This one was from four years ago and Im pretty sure celebrating together now is way better than it was when we were kids.
Here is Cath and Emma. Emma was so little in this picture but it reminds me of the way my sister has been such an incredible role model to my daughters. She and my sister Michelle have been amazing examples of women and how to love their sisters. I know my daughters hope to have the kind of relationships with each other the way I have with my sisters.
I love my sister and I love her thoughtfulness. I love the way she dreams and dissects life.
Sometimes I want to tell her to stop and let things happen but I've learned that it's just who she is, and it keeps her strong. She's the person who knows to call because she "feels"
trouble in my life and just knows somethings going on.
Cathy has a nickname in our family that was given to her by our brother-in-law, Anthony. She is the "cat-whisperer". This is because she has the ability to talk to cats. They love her they crave being next to her. She understands them and she loves them so much. Sure this is not about who she is in my life but they're such a part of who she is and her capacity to love that I had to take this tangent.
Meet her children
Kinko: Saved from a life of sadness and health
issues. Loved by his mom. I like to call him her
stalker because he spends most of his time
standing on her, loving her or just staring at her.
Stella: She was a feral kitty who was moving
her kittens from backyard to backyard. My sister
found her and won her over to the point she
could move in and she taught that kitty how to
be loved and how to trust people.
Baby Girl: A tough cookie who has to
live separated from the other kids.
My sister spends time with her every
day, brushing her and cleaning up
after her and making a place
for her everyday.
Maxine: Little timid girl who has her place
on the bathroom sink where she gets love every
day. She finds safety and security in her little
place next to her "mom" every night.
My sister has been there for me during some really hard times. She has pushed me on when I have wanted to give up. She's told me the truth about my heart and when I haven't liked it she still stuck by me and loved me through my nastiness. She's reminded me God put me places for a reason, and put people in my life intentionally and she has always encouraged me to move forward.
My maid of honor, every time...
She encourages me to be healthy and she hooks me into cool things like half-marathons
and 5k's. (sarcasm...) She's leads me in this by example.
Cath loves nature and draws me into it with her love for it. This summer we spent time out and around Mt. Hood. Here are a few of our pics.
This picture is so perfect! Here she is driving me around like she has so many times. It reminded me of going on ride-alongs when she was a cop. We had so much fun! We laughed so hard in her police unit she couldn't use the radio because the only thing that would go out over the air was us laughing. It also reminded me of how she drove me around when we were kids. She was out driving us around at the age of fourteen! It sure was fun at the time...
So many car rides, so many adventures!
PS Cathy is always up for fun and is not concerned about looking silly. If it's fun or funny, she's down for it, unless it's a tattoo. Ha ha ha!
I like to say we are the same girl but a different
I wrote earlier this month that I was able to spend a week in June alone with my sister. It was such a great time of fun, and laughing, and crying and bonding. We had so many photo ops! I shot these pics when we were out just sightseeing some stuff. We came upon an historical garden that was perfect for some photos.
I was totally trying to get into this
So, today I remember past birthday celebrations. I remember being a kid with a crazy big sister that I loved and wanted to be like. I think about all the fun we've had and all the tears we've shed. I remember the talks that lasted late into the night and that got us into trouble with Dad because our laughing woke him up. All the phone conversations, the secrets, and stories, the weddings and funerals and how we started laughing at several, to our demise. I remember my State Board Cosmetology test that we got dirty looks at because we were laughing too much. I am thinking about all the long car rides and all the talks we had on them. I'm so thankful for all I have had with my sister. If she was removed from my life the hole would be huge and couldn't be replaced my any one person in my life because she has taken up so much space in my heart for longer than anyone.
Thank you my sweet sister for being my leader, my follower, my mother, my friend, my inspiration and encourager. There will never be another you in my life and I'm so thankful
through everything I've been given in my life that God gave me you.
Happy Birthday, Baby!