Updated WC: 3282. Good day!
Word Count: 2866. Time to stop for dinner, and I'm on chapter 6:)
Today is my baby sister's birthday.
I haven't seen her since Christmas 2004, because she lives so far away. Until recently, she was up in the arctic circle, working with the First Nation population in Pangnirtung, Nunavut, dealing with domestic issues and substance abuse. Not to mention polar bear sightings, freezing cold temperatures, and listening to her children speaking Inuit at daycare. In fact, I have a niece I've not even met, since she turned 2 in August.
All that is about to change; she has relocated to Vancouver, British Columbia, and they are adapting to the warmer climate. When she last lived in BC, I saw her once a year. We would travel up to see her. She and her husband would meet us halfway in Colorado. Or, she would travel to our parents' home. So while I was thrilled to announce I had a sibling up in the arctic, I've had to admit a feeling I never thought I'd ever have...I miss her.
Growing up, she was the baby sister who read my diary; pestered me non-stop; asked annoying questions to the boys I liked; and tried to convince me I was adopted (she and our parents have brown hair and eyes; I'm blonde and blue-eyed!). She and I fought constantly; her mouth flapped non-stop, and if I wanted to talk, I had to severely interrupt her or slug her in order to gain attention.
To be fair, she had it a bit rough when she hit the 'tween' years. She had to deal with a sister who was involved in Marching Band, and was dragged every weekend to contests. I was also a source of extreme embarrassment to her, having exhibited anti-social behavior, and she was ridiculed by association. She found a talent for playing the drums, and was the only female percussionist in her section. We laugh about it now, but if we'd known 'sexual harassment' was the term, she'd have been the Anita Hill of her Jr. High...but no...that kind of treatment you dealt with in silence.
I left and went to college, and she blossomed on the swim team. She later joined me at Ball State, and we had lunch together once a week. She ran for a spot on the Student Senate; I campaigned for her heavily. And even arranged for a pizza to be sent to her room, win or lose (she won!).
When I moved into my first apartment, she enjoyed the day I 'kidnapped' her and spent the day with her. She left for the London Center, and I made sure a letter was waiting for her when she arrived. She was supportive of me when a disastrous relationship had me admitting defeat and moving out on the spur of the moment. And later, she stood by my side as I married my husband.
She showed up with a balloon when my oldest son was born. She entered the Peace Corps after graduation and spent 2 years in Ecuador, sending home wonderful gifts...blow guns, darts, spears, stuffed macaws, and alpaca clothing. And I still have all her letters, especially the one where she describes the guinea pig she was served, and the proper way to eat it!
Our grandmother was dying when she arrived home after her tour, and settled in the same town. When grandma died, she inherited the furniture. And she also was thrilled to meet her new niece, born while she was out of the country. Restless after several months, she decided to try something new, and applied to the Japanese Exchange Training (JET) program, and asked me for help in writing her cover letter. I take great pride in knowing that although the words had been rearranged, or paragraphs moved, her opening statement and beginning paragraph stayed the same. Result? My brilliant words got her into the program and moved her around the world again! Yes, we get along well when she's several thousand miles away, ha ha:)
Seriously, though, without my help, would she have met the man she's been happily married to for 10, nearly 11 years?
I'll admit, she's strong-willed, and has definite opinions which she openly expresses. And the word 'compromise' has finally entered her vocabulary. Yes, we have a tendency to butt heads if left alone for more than a couple hours or days. But she's my sister, and I love her.
Happy birthday, Wendy.
Eat some cake for me:)