(And, yes, I realize that tomorrow's letter-S- would've been perfect, "Sister Sarah, Simply Sarah, Sarah the Statuesque"... But, I already have a post for tomorrow, so today it is.)
She began for me as an idea, when my mother told us she was pregnant. My teenage brain had no clue what this meant for my parents. Though, they never expressed anything other joy about her. The next few months were tumultuous, as my father lost his job and we moved into a tiny, basement house. I still don't know how they did it.
I don't remember much about the beginning of the day we met. I was 15 and it was spring. The trees were budding new green and tractors were surely turning soil in anticipation of the planting to come. These details have faded in my mind. I don't remember the drive, or if my dad and I had gone alone. The first thing I do remember is walking into my grandparent's house. Through the front room, with its lush carpet and twin recliners. Into their bedroom which always smelled like Grandma's Jovan Musk.
There on the bed was my mom. I don't recall her face because I only had eyes for the baby she held up to me. Taking in the shock of black hair and the biggest cheeks I'd ever seen, I settled my sister in my arms. Did my mom speak? Not sure. I turned, leaving my parents alone and walked the rooms of my grandmother's house, murmuring sweet words of adoration to this little person who'd so quickly stolen my heart.
Sarah was the seventh child. A sister added when my parents thought they were done. She was born into a family with three sisters and three brothers. We all adored her, except maybe Mitchell, whose reign as youngest was so unceremoniously ended after five brief years.
As she grew, she seemed to me, the perfect child. Rarely did she get in trouble. The spankings my siblings and I endured were only stories to her. I remember her as a toddler, all chubby-cheeked and bright-eyed. In elementary school, she had the normal growing pains of children that age. She fought with Mitch and became friends with her nieces, who were more like sisters to her.
|Sarah-in the middle-and her nieces/sisters.|
Grown-up life took me away from my parental home more and more. Sarah went from tag-along-little-sister, to babysitter and teenager. I watched her date and play basketball. She grew into such a beautiful young woman. Like her siblings, she wore her heart on her sleeve and cried easily. She had many friends and knew how to have fun.
|Sarah and Ellen perform the one-armed cheerleader routine.|
Suddenly, she was grown. She'd fallen in love. Somehow, my almost-six-foot sister found a husband to tower over her (he's 6' 7"). And not long after, our baby was expecting a baby of her own.
And, then the most amazing thing happened. My 'little sister' became my friend. Age disappeared and we were no longer older and younger, but wives and mothers with shared experiences. We began spending time together, our children playing in the yard while we talked and laughed. We were pregnant together, which made my last pregnancy especially sweet.
Yesterday, Sarah turned 30. She is kind and strong. She's a patient and consistent mom (something I truly envy). I am so very grateful to my parents, both on earth and in Heaven, for bestowing this gift on me. For the memories of the life we had then. And for the friend who blesses my life now.
Happy Birthday, Sarah!