Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Happy Birthday, Sis!

Speaking of family appreciation (Family Habits), today is my sister’s 70th birthday. Here are a few of the many things I appreciate about her.

When I was little, I got the measles. Back then, kids were kept in darkened rooms to prevent damage to their eyes while the disease ran its course. It was dreadfully boring. My sister made me a time box. The box contained many small, wrapped gifts, with a time label on each one. I could open one every hour. I don’t remember after all these years what the gifts were, but I do remember the anticipation as each hour crept by, and the delight of discovering what intriguing gift she had designated for that hour. Enduring several days of no reading or TV would have been torture, but enduring an hour at a time was manageable. Her creative thoughtfulness got me through.

I was the flower girl in my sister’s wedding. I was devastated over her marriage. Oh, her groom was nice enough (this year marks their 50th anniversary). But she was leaving me and I was crushed. She had a big church wedding with the reception at a nearby location. After the ceremony and all the pictures, I remember her coming through the crowd at the church, her white dress and veil billowing in the summer heat, to...me. She took my hand and led me to the car she and her new husband would drive to the reception. I sat between them on the front seat like a princess.

When I adopted Mia, I had very little notice before leaving for China to go get her. After I got the sudden and wonderful news, I called my sister and said, “Drop everything–we’re going to China!” And bless her heart, she did. I am so grateful she was there to share that joy with me.

When our mom was dying, my sister was the one front and center, while I lived far away. I made numerous trips home and tried to support both my sister and my mom as best I could, but the primary responsibility fell on my sister’s shoulders. All I can say is that you could not have anyone better in your corner. And after mom was gone, I was so grateful that my sister and I handled everything with loving care for each other. There was no bickering over anything.

My sister is an artist. A very good artist. When I started this blog, some people said I should write a book. I floated the idea past my sister with much uncertainty, and she immediately offered to design the cover. Now to understand what this meant to me, you have to understand that my sister has always been the creative one. The idea of a book seemed (and still seems) quite out of reach for me. But here was my immensely talented sister, without a moment’s hesitation, offering her encouragement and her fame to support me. I don’t know if a book will ever happen, but it doesn’t matter. The best part has already happened.

So, Susu, this day is yours. You are the best sister ever, and I have described only a few of many, many things I appreciate about you. Happy Birthday!


  1. What a lovely tribute! I feel blessed reading it and Yes! you have a wonderful Sister. Happy Birthday, Susan

  2. Awww.... Sisters are ALWAYS fun to have. An angel to watch over you always! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!


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