Monday, December 7, 2009

Happy Birthday, Big Sister

Today is my big sister's birthday.

My sister was eighteen years old when I was born. She was already away at nursing school.

My sister Margie and Me. I was 4 days old.

Me, at three months.

Being the oldest, my sister, Margery Esther, had the burden of being named after both grandmothers. That's okay, because she was born to be a grandma (four grandchildren and a new one debuting next month!) And really I don't think there's any better suited name for her than "Marge."

Marge is bossy in a loving way. She tells us all what to do and we do it, including my parents. I'm surprised she hasn't taken over the world, but I guess she's content with her own little piece of Western Pennsylvania.

My dad says he knew she was going to be a nurse because, as a child, she showed no real interest in live animals, but any dead creature, she'd be sure and go roll it over and poke at it. I'm not sure how that relates to being a nurse but it's a funny story.

Flower girl at Margie's wedding, 2 years old. That's one of my brothers holding my bouquet.

Margie moved to Savannah right after she was married, where her husband was stationed in the Army. Here I am with her on an Easter visit.

For the first part of my life, my big sister seemed more like a second mom than a sister, especially since her daughter was only three years younger than me.

No, there is no seatbelt on this Jeep. I once fell out the back of it, going up our driveway.

Why did I have this dumb haircut, you may well ask? Well, it's because I insisted that my dad cut my hair just like my brothers'.

Here I am with my niece, Margie's daughter. She's awesome, too. She's my best friend in the whole world, save my husband. Although we have very different personalities, there's no one I trust more or who understands me better (again, except for my husband!). We attended law school at the same time. Here we are at my graduation from law school with Margie and Margie's handsome son (my niece had graduated the day before).

Having two moms was really annoying. But once I had children of my own, things changed. Margie became a sister.

The other thing about Marge is her distinctive Clairol Kindness flippy hairdo. Girl OWNS this hairstyle! Here we are back in the nineties, when Margie and her husband visited us while my husband was in the military and stationed in Monterey, California. Marge even has a special set of rollers that fit handily on the back of her husband's Honda Gold Wing, for cross-country beauty.

I am grateful to my big sister for so many things I cannot begin to name them all. Since I was close in age to my niece, I slept over at my sister's many a time. She and her husband took me along on vacations to the mountains and water-skiing on the river. She helped deliver my oldest son and gave him his first bath (above). Since my husband and I were but poor students when he was born, my sister paid for the doctor. She taught my son to ride a bike and when our car broke down on the way back to college and we couldn't get a hold of our parents, she and her husband came to the rescue. And now that my parents are elderly, she keeps a good eye on them and takes care of the day-to-day things that those of us who live far away do not see.

So, on this day, I wish my lovely, strong, wonderful sister another happy birthday! Love you, Marge! You're the best.