Christmas was simply the beginning of birthday season in my family.
When I was younger, there was a multitude of birthdays just after the new year.
My grandfather had a birthday on Jan. 13, followed by my mother on Jan. 15, my sister on Jan. 22, and my birthday on Feb. 1.
With the loss of my grandfather and mother, it’s just my sister and me now, and I think we’ve grown closer as the surviving siblings.
I surprised my sister on her 50th birthday in 2014. Working through my dad and her kids, I was able to fly to Missouri and be sitting at the table when she arrived for her birthday dinner.
The double-take she gave me at the table was unforgettable.
We’ve made it through some difficult times as we’ve taken on adulthood, and when the chips have been down, I’ve greatly appreciated her presence.
Several years ago, we were dealing with Paige’s cancer, and my sister dropped everything to come to Florida and help us take care of J.P. while Paige underwent chemotherapy.
At times when J.P. has been hospitalized, she’s traveled here and spent some nights with him so he wasn’t alone in strange surroundings.
Being an older sibling, she’s guided me in many ways to be selfless and caring when others are experiencing tough times.
I’ve tried to pattern my journey into parenthood after her. She’s raised three amazing children. Two have graduated high school, and one just began driving.
She married an awesome husband who treats her well and stands by her at every turn. (I married an awesome wife.)
I’m glad she’s still in this game we call life with me. I know she’s only a phone call and plane flight away if I need her, and I hope she knows I’m here to do the same for her.
Happy birthday, Catherine!
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