This year I surrendered to an idea to celebrate each member of my family, on the day of his or her birth. Whether there’s a party on the big day, or I see them another time, or I simply send a happy birthday text, I want to take the time to express my appreciation for who that person is. Today is my sister Linda’s birthday.
I’ve known my sister since her birth, and oh, the stories I could tell! That is, perhaps, a post for another time. Instead, as I have with other family members, I’ll focus of the past year, since Linda’s last birthday. And what a fun year it’s been.
Linda continues to accompany me on many of my adventures. And invites me on some of her own. In the past year we’ve enjoyed watching The Phantom of the Opera musical from front row seats, attended parties and a wedding, and said good bye to a cousin, an uncle and two aunts. She journeyed alongside me as Greg’s dad also stepped into eternity last summer, offering encouragement and quiet help.
We enjoyed the annual Halloween party, hosted by our younger sister, niece and nephew. And got lost in our first corn maze with Mom and our granddaughters, Aubrey and London. We made new vision boards, while having deep discussions and impromptu sing alongs with Dayan and Mom. In fact, we gathered to have fun for any reason whatsoever. That’s one of Linda’s greatest gifts that she offers to others, the ability to have fun and make an ordinary event extraordinary.
She continues be an advocate for animals, her heart tender toward those who are homeless, abused or neglected. And Linda’s heart is just as tender toward people, especially those who are overlooked, under appreciated or who have lost their way. She is a champion for the one who lacks confidence in himself and a cheerleader for the one who has a difficult time seeing her own value. It’s important for me to remember that sometimes Linda also appreciates being championed and cheered for as well.
Linda’s greatest gift is how fiercely and deeply she cares for her family. She offers that love to all of us, parents, siblings, nieces, nephews and all the “grands” in the family. However, as Mom to her two sons and their brides, and Gigi to her four grandchildren, she shines. She is selfless in her devotion, dividing her time between her Tulsa clan and her Joplin clan. She is a witness to their lives, present for celebrations and achievements. London, Aralyn, Weston and Lola are too young yet to realize what an amazing grandmother they have. They just know she’s there for them and she’s fun and she loves them very much.
May the next year bring continued joys and blessings to my sister Linda. May she know boundless grace, deep peace and experience an abundance of wealth, fun, health and vitality. I look forward to many more adventures together. Happy birthday, Linda. I love you!