My late sister Patsy was born, two weeks late, on January 26, 1953. I was five, so I was very entranced by her arrival into our family. She was the most cheerful of the four of us, born smiling and smiling broadly as death approached. I can hear her laughter sometimes in my mind when I think of her.
Grief is a strange companion. I cruise along for a while and then get hit with it. This time it showed up when I was wondering what to get her for her birthday. After Christmas, I always started putting together an array of big and little presents to send her. I was stopped in my tracks by the reality that I didn’t need to be on the lookout for the tender faith based things she treasured.
When my granddaughter was four, she turned to me in a matter of fact way and said “You are going to leave here first because you got here first.” I always thought of my sister that way too. She was going to outlive me because I had a five year head start on her. It seemed reasonable that we would enjoy the same length of life. As anyone who has lost a younger family member knows, it doesn’t work that way.
Happy Birthday Kid.