Monday, March 31, 2008

Happy Birthday Mickey

This is my sister Mickey. It's her birthday today. She is one of my best friends.

It wasn't always so. Not that I ever disliked her . . . she is the most likeable person in the world. Mostly, I ignored her. Mostly when I was a teenager.

She was 5 years younger than me. We were ALWAYS in different places in our lives. She was always my cute, athletically talented, little sis. But when you are 14, that is not the person you want to hang out with. And my brother, who is not quite 2 years younger, was my buddy. We had many of the same friends and liked to do the same things. Mickey got left out a lot.

When I got married, she was 15. My fiance, my brother, and our friends were all going out the night before the wedding. We were standing in the bedroom we had shared at my grandmother's house. We had shared the bedroom when we lived there when my Dad was in Vietnam and shared it again on our visits there growing up. She said "You and Chip always forget about me. You go off and don't even think about inviting me. Maybe I want to go too." She didn't whine and she didn't yell, she was right. We never considered that she would want to be included. So she went with us and we didn't forget about her again.

The older we got, the closer we became. She married and has 2 teenage sons now and they live in Louisiana. She is still beautiful and athletically talented. This is her last summer.
We were in Townsend, Tennessee and decided to swim in the river after visiting Cades Cove. The kids were jumping of a "cliff" into the water. We watched for a while and took pictures. Then her boys asked her if she would jump. She hopped right up, swam across to the other side, climbed up and jumped off with them. I think I have never been so impressed by anyone in my life!

Mickey is one of those people that everyone loves. She is fun and sweet and and patient and thoughtful and has no clue how beautiful she is. There is no ego either. And her faith is so strong, helping her to know the right thing to do at the right time. During the time that our Mom was in the hospital dying, I watched Mickey, we all did. She was completely in tune with what Mom needed without her saying anything, like there was a spiritual connection. My brother said watching her was like watching the embodiment of God's love.

I miss having her close. Our family is spread out across the country. I am lucky because her husband's family lives about an hour away from me. She lived there for several years and it was great. We could do birthday parties and family things. Or we could just meet to go shopping. But now we plan our visits and they only happen a few times a year. We planned our vacations to the beach separately last year but ended up overlapping a day. They arrived late Friday night and we left Saturday but we were able to stop by before we left.

It's funny that we are close because we couldn't be more different. She is calm and soft-spoken, I am bossy and opinionated. She is religious, I am spiritual. She is careful with money and I dream of winning the lottery. She is the peacemaker and I love a good argument. My kids have tattoos and hers have trophies in every sport. Maybe that's why we get along. We appreciate each other's differences.

So happy birthday sis. I love you and I'm glad you are part of my family. And I'm also glad you're my friend.


Wanda said...

Sister's ~~ what a lovely tribute to yours!! I have one sister, she's 6 years older than me, and we were not close when we were we are, and I'm moving to So. CA and will be much further away...but we promise to email, and visit.

Lovely Post!

Ruth D~ said...

This is a priceless tribute to your sister . . . and to you as well. Your "couldn't be more different" paragraph is great. Every ying needs a yang.

Tere said...

Thanks Wanda and Ruth.

Mickey said...

Wow sis - made me cry. I admire all of those things about you that are different than my world. You are an amazing sister, friend, mom, writer, photographer, etc..! I do appreciate our differences and stay in awe of you. I do love how we can cry together though! Can't wait to see you again - I love you!