Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Birthday Wish

     Today is my birthday. I was born in a hospital in Alexandria, Louisiana, on this very day 56 years ago. I was my parents' firstborn and the first long anticipated grandchild on both sides of the family. It was certainly a fortunate position to occupy. There is little doubt that I was destined to be spoiled and doted upon by the immediate and extended family except for one auspicious event, an event that would be of great import in my life. When I was but three months old, my mother became pregnant again. And almost exactly two weeks after I celebrated my first birthday, I became the big sister. Three and a half years after that, another sister followed and my family of origin was complete. Thus it is that I simply cannot remember a time when I was not a sister to someone. Sadly in my younger years, I considered this to be a trial of monumental proportions (a slight exaggeration), and I spent a significant amount of idle time daydreaming and  fantasizing about what it might been to live in a world where I was the only child (all together true). In this perfect world where I was the object of my parents' undivided attention (what was I thinking), I was the Queen of Everything and my first decree as Regent Supreme would be that nothing of any consequence would have to be shared. I even envisioned my own sisters waiting on me hand and foot, with the slavish attention and devotion I imagined Pharaoh's daughter would have had. But thankfully, this foolish daydream was only ever just that.
     Simply put, my sisters have always been there for me, a gift I no longer take lightly. I have repented as a grown woman of the countless times when I was unkind (translate mean), unwilling to share (translate selfish) and insensitive (translate callous and hardened). My sisters were much kinder, much gentler than I for I, rather than they, have the intrinsic heart of a rebel. While perhaps I outwardly appeared to conform, inwardly I was usually seething or fomenting a rebellion against whatever authority prevailed at the time (my mother's no doubt). And yet somehow amidst this self-centered life of mine with all of its attendant sins, I was blessed with the gift of sisters who loved me. It is no small miracle. As a grown woman I cringe when I think of the times that I was unworthy of their love, their affection, their good humor, and their constancy. These sisters believed in me, hoped the best for me, perhaps wrung their hands over me on more than one occasion and certainly took the punishment or rap for me. In my youth I was not totally without conscience and certainly had my moments of appreciation for their faithfulness in things great and small, but I look back at those adolescent days and am ashamed at how often I overlooked or took for granted  these two great blessings of my life.
      Thankfully, my fifty-six years of living have taught me something. I no longer view myself as a rebel, but am thankful to have been given eyes to see the grave and unfortunate error of my ways! By grace and grace alone, I am the prodigal daughter who has returned to the loving arms of the Father and continue to discover the redemption, healing and balm He has prepared for my soul. I am so very thankful that my God did not abandon me nor did my sisters.
    We are close. We share more than the DNA or genes our parents contributed. I like to think of it as an irrevocable joining of three hearts. It is not simply that our voices have the same timbre (my husband will confuse me, his wife of 36 years, for one of my sisters when I am with them) and are marked by the same accent or drawl, or the fact that we share hand gestures and odd mannerisms and are uniformly opinionated, always right, and always unbearably loud in groups of people. It is the past, the present, and the future that we share. It is the unspoken promise to never let go, never forget, and to always be there for each other, no matter what life brings.
    So on this day that I always thought would be my "own," I want to celebrate and remember and honor two people who mean so very much to me: my precious and precocious sisters. You know who you are. If I turn around quickly I see us playing in the shallow water at Cinco Bayou or fishing on the dock at dawn's light. If I squint just so, I see us jumping in the leaves at Lou Lou's or getting our playhouse ready for our cousins to arrive. There in the waning shadows I see us walking back from the library in Opp with arms full of Nancy Drew books or running full bore into the bakery for some of Daddy Dewey's donuts. We are little girls, then young girls and finally women with families and children of our own. But if the phone rings, or the warning bell sounds, I'll come running. You know I'll ask the probing questions later and offer the well-intentioned advice, because that is what I do, excuse me, what we do....but if you need me, sisters, you know I'll be there. I have and I will as long as I am able because that's what sisters do. My birthday wish for me and for you is that on this day that I was born you would finally know without a doubt that I really was glad that each of you were born, I just didn't know it at the time! Much much love.....


  1. How kind of you to give us the gift of your words on your birthday!

  2. Wow! What an honor to be a part of your special day. I am honored to be your "baby sister" and I treasure that God saw fit for YOU to lead me to eternal life in HIM! Not only are we "earthly sisters", but sisters that will share eternity with our Lord, Savior and Heavenly Father. I never have seen you "in the light" of rebellion or arrogance. To me, you were just the big sister that I wanted to be like, to hang out with and to have as a friend...NOW I have it all...God is soooo good! Love you always, Jules Verne

  3. Now that I've wiped the tears from my eyes and can see again, I can wish you a belated Happy birthday. (First I typed bleated and I like that too- LOL) What a priceless post. I know all about conforming on the outside while dealing with a rebel on the inside. Amazing grace.


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