Saturday, March 26, 2011

Happy Birthday to My Sister - 2012

The first memory I have of you - the little burden bundle of joy - was hearing your little cry from somewhere . . . . far off in the distance.  I do not remember seeing you – just hearing your cry. 

Well . . . . . . . . .  I think it was you.  Mom and Dad told me it was you.  But, they could have told me anything.  I was only 4 years old, had the mumps, was feverish, and was still extremely gullible. 

On Mom & Dad’s behalf, I suppose that I wasn’t allowed to see you because I was contagious.  In fact, we all had the mumps except Dad and you. 

 You must have been a good baby because, boy, look at you now! 

Actually, you really must have been a good baby because I don’t remember you again until one time when you were really very ill.  I think if you had been a fussy baby I would have remembered something earlier. 

I guess I could have repressed it all these years – or maybe Marty and I were busy outside developing our strategy for when you would be old enough to join us – in the BACKYARD! 

I thought you were going to die that time.  We lived on Damon Hill on the farm.  Mom & Dad were very calm and quiet with worried expressions on their faces.  Mom kept sponging you with cool water to try and get your fever down.   It seems like the doctor even came – or maybe the nurse from the Homes. 

I remember asking Mom if you were going to live and she quietly somberly answered that she didn’t know.  I quietly left the room, shut the door, went to my room and asked God to save you.  There were times later that I would wonder about the wisdom of that request but what was done was done.

Next . . . close your eyes.  We're going to our next adventure! 

Take a  d-e-e-p  breath.  Now blow it out s-l-o-w-l-y.  Tense all your muscles and then relax them starting down at your toes and working up to your forehead. Now . . . concentrate real hard and try to imagine this scenario.  Far-fetched as it may seem:

You are living on a wonderful farm with huge lawns and rolling meadows.  It is sunny and warm.  The grass is cool on your feet and the blue sky is filled with fluffy clouds.  The cows are smiling at you over the fence.  The birds are singing.  All is right with your world . . . . . . . . .

But wait!  The kitchen door has just slammed.  Oh no!  The dreaded monster is on her
way out to the backyard.  Run, run!  Move those little legs up and down!  Pant, pant!  Slip!  fall!  Doom fills you as Her shadow covers you . . . .  then - Melanie Ann!   Didn’t I tell you to stay out of the backyard?“   

I'm sure you were again thinking "What!?   Just Melanie Ann?  Where are Martin Ellis” and Janet Eileen

And the rest is history.  To be repeated and repeated and repeated.

I remember ALWAYS playing in the front yard and pushing you over & over & over on the swing.  What a wonderful swing.  We had all the grass worn off under it.  The wind would blow through our hair.  It was great.

Marty and I tried to help you learn to ride the bicycle.  We would run along beside you and hold the bicycle up while you tried to pedal.  I used to get hit in the legs by the stupid pedal as it came around.  You know, It’s hard to stand close to the bike without getting it on the ankle.  Then we would get brave and shove you from the barn floor, down that little hill and then scream, “Pedal, pedal!”    And then hoped you would figure out how to stop before you reached the road.  I suppose you still have scars from those lessons.  Physical scars!  Not psychological ones.  The psychological scars came from the backyard escapades.
When I was a junior in High School you were in the same school in the Jr. High part of the building.  That was new for me to have you in the same school as mine.  Actually, all three of us were there.  You were this dorky looking spindly little girl AND you were always so-o-o-o  glad to see me in the halls with a huge smile while holding hands with a girlfriend.

You were probably about 15 when Marvin and I married.  You had grown up and were much more mature by then.  :-)

Marvin remembers all those letters that Abigail the Alligator used to write to him.  You would put all these little curls on all the letters.  Supposedly it was Abigail your stuffed Alligator writing letters to Marvin.  It was a kill.  We really enjoyed it.  It actually helped keep me connected to home in a wonderful silly way. 

Of course, you always had to send letters to remind us that your birthday was coming.  Sometimes several letters to remind us that your birthday was coming.  Which led me, years later, to start reminding you that your birthday was coming – with weird notices written on the OUTSIDE of the envelopes.  So the mailman would know how old you were going to be.  "Happy Birthday to my favorite sis on her 50th BD". 

Of course, this was when you did NOT want to be reminded that your birthday was coming.  And, of course, I always INFLATED your age by several years on the outside of the envelope. 

It was so much fun.  I would chuckle for days thinking of the envelope making its way thro the mail and then to your porch with the wrong age promptly displayed on the front and on the back for all the world to see. 

I won't even mention the fact that we both have ADD - acute directional disorder.  No one needs to know the adventures that have happened as a result of ADD.  Or how we both drive our families crazy.  Or how sometimes - when we are together - we MIGHT even have problems getting out of a parking lot.  Mostly because we are laughing hysterically.  Hehehe! 

Today - I won't even attempt to try to remember what birthday this is.  I've distorted it for so many years how could I remember.  I'd first have to remember how old I am and then work back from there.  Don't want to go there!!

Seriously though.  Thanks for being my sister.  I know you didn't have a choice.  I mean you could have abandoned me along the way. 

I’m glad YOU are MY sister. 

Thanks for being silly,  and fun, and serious, and creative, and smart. 

For having great kids who have given me 5 wonderful beautiful great nieces and 1 miracle great-nephew.

Thanks for sharing them with me when I’m home. 

Thanks for sometimes calling me to cry, sometimes to laugh, sometimes for advice, sometimes to give advice, and sometimes just to say ‘hi’. 

God brightened up the world when he made you.  And don’t ever forget that regardless of what happens in your life, God loves you and loves being your friend.

I love you
I will always love you


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