My middle sister turns 50 tomorrow.  I remember when she was 8, and I was 6.  That's the span between us - a year and 10 months.  Too soon tomorrow is right. 

She called me last night.  I miss her, talking with her, and hearing her Dinah laugh.  She sort of throws back her head when she laughs, and though not near me geographically now, I can see it in my head when I hear her laughter spill through the phone.  She is a wonderful mix of absolute literalism, deep trenched care for her family and friends, hard work, stubbornness, caverns of loyalty and love, all tinged with big hearted tenderness.  You throw in the occasional funny swear word and she has stolen my heart my whole entire life.

Our conversation of course encompassed her fiftieth birthday this week - how she felt about turning half a century old. She decided that cake, cupcakes, pies, etc were the call to order for the entire week.  She declared it a sweets and no exercise birthday week!!  You can do that at 50 I told her - justifiable hiatus from being weight conscious and fighting aging.

We commiserated about time flying so fast you can't hold on to it now.  She tried to tell me I was turning 50 next year.  I told her NOI was turning 49 next yearDon't rush me Dinah, I said.  She laughed her Dinah laugh [I once again pictured her head in a quick back tilt.]  Then, she got contemplative.....

I could hear tears entering her voice.  Monumental landmarks in our time line make all of us a bit reflective.  I knew what she was going to say - I had both felt those same emotions and battled that same train of thought.....

What have I really done in life?  She continued on.... What have I really accomplished for fifty years of living?  I haven't done enough, or maybe I haven't even done the right things or enough of them or things of significance ......  I stopped her right there.

The eve of your birthday should not be wrought with self doubt, but focused on what you HAVE done, where you want to go from henceforth. It's a celebration of life!  I wanted her to know of a life that had great significance on me, her kids, Kent, her family, her work, her friends, her church, for God . . .

My sister Diane "Dinah" and Tess -
one of her twin daughters she impacts!
I spoke to her of what she had meant to me all my life; my comrade, my support system through every major life event and everyday things too.  She talked me off the edge, listened to my sobs, stayed in the hospital with me, took care of me after surgery, came to visit in every place I have ever lived.  She shared a bedroom with me all my growing up years, laid in the sun with me, listened to my dreams, my hurts, felt my losses, prayed over me, worried about me, fed me, loaned me money in my young married years, helped me move so many times I can't count them all, cleaned and organized houses for me, helped me find doctors, supported and loved my daughter, opened up her home for Hannah's wedding.  She walked through divorce with me.  She has laughed at most things I have said all my life.  She ate dog food as a kid merely because I gave her money to do so:) She has made my life richer, easier, lighter because she has been there.  She raised a set of twins with a husband who was gone overnight every two days for the past 20+ years and who ran a construction business as well.  She developed character into two girls who are smart, responsible, sensitive, feisty (ok one is), loving and motivated.  And, she is the best damn nurse there is!

I reminded her that when we slip into the next life those are the things that have made an impact as we move out of this world.  Those things hold greater significance than jobs, titles, adventure, or wealth can carry posthumously.  I reminded her that her presence is what has made her significant.  I gave her permission to throw in a hell and a damn, but to be proud that who she has been for fifty years is a big, big deal to those around her.

1 comment:

  1. awesome tribute to Dinah!
    you sisters are The Best (Nacho voice)