I want to tell you about my big sister. Her name is Ginger. And she is wonderful.
Family legend has it that when my mom was pregnant for Ginger, all she could keep down was Ginger Ale (or Vernors if you’re a Michigander). Thus, the name Ginger.
Family legend also has it that my mom was working on her own spice rack. My brother, Sam, disrupted that by not being a “Pepper”. (I’m not actually sure if that’s completely true…but it sure is funny)
My sister Ginger once told me that my mom wasn’t my real mom. My sister told me that, in fact, she was my true mother. But, being only 6 when I was born, she couldn’t have possibly raised me. So, she gave me to her mom, who was really my grandma. I believed her. And I cried.
Turns out, Ginger likes to mess with me.
This is further evidenced in the way Ginger got me to sit on her lap.
“Come here and sit on my lap,” she’d say, arms stretched out to me.
“No,” I would answer. Yes. Possibly in a very bratty tone.
SMACK! (That was the sound of Ginger hitting me)
WHAAAAAAA! (That was the sound of me crying. Yes. In that same very bratty tone)
“Oh, Honey,” Ginger would cry. “Come here and let me give you a hug.”
And, yes. I’d go to her for comfort.
It worked every single time.
But, lest you think I’m roasting this dear sister of mine, I do have a sweet story to share. This was told to me by my buddy Tim.
When Ginger was in her final year at college, she did some sort of internship at the high school I attended. I got to see her every once in awhile.
One day, Tim asked how I was.
Ginger tilted her head to one side and said, “Beautiful.”
She is a sweetie.
My sister Ginger is also one of the strongest women I know.
Well, yes. She can kick my booty even though she is a few inches shorter than I am. But that isn’t exactly the kind of strength I’m talking about.
My sister went back to school while she worked full time, raised two extremely handsome boys (don’t tell them I said that, they’ll never talk to me again if they know!), attended those extremely handsome boys’ kazillion sporting events, and…and…so much more! She not only received a degree that enabled her to become a respiratory therapist, she did so with really well earned grades.
And now, she literally saves lives.
I write about people like her.
Well, I am right now, huh?
And, on this day I celebrate her birthday. She is now an age that I will not mention because I fear for my very life (just kidding…or am I?).
You know, a few years ago I had a new appreciation for birthdays. They are the days that we stop and acknowledge someone’s birth. Yup. That’s a fact. But why all the cake and balloons and over the hill jokes?
Well, there is a good reason.
We celebrate because we love the person. Because we are glad that, however many years before, that person became alive. And we are glad that they are alive. And that they are in our lives. We find joy in this life because that person is in it. And so we celebrate.
Today, September 18, I find joy in this life because my sister Ginger is in it.
Happy Birthday, Ginger. I love you.
(And happy birthday to my Uncle Tom, too.)