HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my older sister! I won't be doing special posts for everyone, but since R is probably my most dedicated reader and commenter (not just on this blog, but in my galleries and email), I couldn't let the day pass without a special tribute.
R, thanks for putting up with me from the very beginning, even though I apparently started kicking your head at an early age, and getting away with it.
I'm lucky to be a middle child, because it means I know the feeling of being both an older and younger sibling. Being an older sibling seems way harder to me (the worrying, the protective instincts, etc.), so I know it must be difficult to be the oldest, at times. R doesn't have an older sibling to whine to like I do. She does the caring and leading for both my younger sister and me. She has given us a lot of her time and energy.
When we were kids, she always assumed the leadership and organizational role, acting as the teacher when we played "school," coming up with ideas for us (like obstacle courses) during the boring summer days, and always going first so we had an idea of what to expect when it came to high school, driving, getting a job and becoming an adult. I do not envy her, especially because I'm such a follower and would be lost without examples.
Now that we are adults, she still takes on the leadership and organizational role for my younger sister and me, coordinating special gifts for family members and giving us reminders and instructions so we can participate in various things. We take her for granted a lot. She's also supported us through trials--opening her home, taking our calls and emails, and offering up whatever she can to help. Plus, she's very forgiving even though I have said my share of bratty things to her. Older sisters rock!
[Please ignore my unfortunate mustard outfit. R's jeans are pretty stylish, though. This photo is one of a series where I keep copying R's movements, like a younger sibling often does.]
I was thinking, the other day, that I don't know how R does it. She continues to make herself available to me, my younger sister and other family members even though she has her hands very full. She and her husband have five kids who are all adopted out of the foster system and present a unique set of challenges. Some very difficult challenges. She homeschools them all (all of the "school" we played as kids was preparation), while keeping them social and active in the church, neighborhood and community. She and her husband take the kids on lots of road trips for learning and fun. They do so much for their family and others. I am way too lazy to handle all of that, and even with my relatively simple life, I find many reasons to need her for support and prayer.
Thanks, R! Happy birthday. I will pray for many special blessings on your new year. See you soon!