I turned thirty-seven at 9:something this morning.
A few hours later, on Facebook, a friend asked what my theme for the coming year is. Without thinking (what? me? not think? unheard of!), "letting go" came popping out.
With that in part of my brain and the scene from City Slickers where Billy Crystal's mom calls him in the wee hours of the morning to tell the same story she tells every year on his birthday -- that of his birth -- in the other part, I asked my older sister, J., to guest blog.
"Dude, do a Billy Crystal."
We did our customary chicken-cackle and I waited.
And here, without ANY. EDITING. AT. ALL, (high-five to me!) copied and pasted straight from Her Majesty's email, is J.'s story:
Thank you, Julia. I love you, too. More than words can say ... and I know a LOT of words.
Roll out the carpet, strike up the band and shout out with hip hooray!
Yep, that is what every older sister should feel at the time of her baby siblings birth. But, it was not like that. I was scared of the 'baby' that was coming. I was now going to be a big sister who no longer received all the attention. That part was okay. I was most concerned about how was I going to take care of this real life baby. Would "it" cry like the ones in the store? Would I have to take "it" on dates with me when I grew up and had a real date? Would my Mom get mad at "it" for not taking a nap like me? But most of all, of all the feeling and true, vivid memories I remember, it was what if "it" does not like me?
I loved my Mommies tummy. I wanted one too. Big and round and soft. I will NEVER forget the first time I felt "it" kick. My Mommy was 7 months pregnant. I giggled. After that I was hooked. I could not wait for the moments when my Mommy would take my little hand and gently place it wherever "it" was kicking. One time, my Mommy put my hand on her tummy and said, 'This is the butt'. That was the best.
I watched as my Mommy prepared the room and how she began to change.
There was lots of change going on around our house. As I look back now, after having my own son, I think that children go through the similar emotions as the Mothers do. As my Mommy got closer to the day, I became anxious and sick and scared. Again, what if "it" did not like me?
Again, this was different. September 13, 1973....B-Day. I am not sure where I was at the time or the time. But "it" was on its way. I imagined a baby but I could never imagine "its" hair, eyes, skin, hands, or smell.
I guess this was God's way of knowing how I am and without any preconceived notions, would be more apt accepting "it" without any stipulations of my own.
Much after that is a blur...and then...as my the woman who I called Mommy opened the door and there "it" was. No longer an "it", but rather my Mommy had brought my baby home. We locked eyes. Her, oh yes HER! She is a her, a girl, A SISTER!!!! We locked eyes. If you have ever experienced the awesomeity of looking into a Doe's eyes and seeing them blink back at you with longing and trust, then and only then can you know what I felt when "she", my sister, Laura looked through me. I say that because as I was admiring this tiny human being that my Mommy had brought home for me, Laura sent shivers through me. She was talking to my soul. I was not scared, but we knew each other before. I felt it then, I have felt over the years growing up and I know it now.
We are all given pillars to lean on and gather strength from. I felt that it was indeed my job to prepare her for something. Of course, I was your normal older sister who picked on her little sister, but only I was allowed to do that. Anybody else who crossed her was forever my enemy.
You see, Laura was my cub.
Over the years, we never grew apart, we just grew up. There is 6 years between us and when I graduated and joined the Military, she was still at home in middle school. What a horrible time on a girls life to all of a sudden loose her big sister.
Laura never lost me. How can you loose your soul mate? We have shared every secret, every lie, every laugh, and every cry. We have yelled and screamed, loved one another and at times may have thought we hated the other. Not so. A soul mate is so overused in today's society. A soul mate is one who you know before you are here on earth. I am lucky to have 3 sisters. Each one unique and supportive. But today is Laura's day. My soul mate. God of course created us, but sisters...well we pick each other before God even picks our parents. I am not sure who picked who.
But, I'll bet we were up in Heaven cooking and that is how it all started.
It was a match of wits, but Laura said, "Hey, I need you to guide the way for me Julia. Then one day, you will need me and I will be there." So, that is how we got each other. Then together, we picked out Heather. I am not thinking like a puppy, but probably really close to that. Laura got to pick Heather out - I just approved.
Happy Birthday Laura Lynn. You guide my way now and keep me on track and remind me that I was your path. You now are my light.
I love you.
PS - Everyone...."it" liked me.
As best described by Carla Ortega, "to the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other's hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time."