My most potent reason for gratitude today:
This woman came into my life 31 years ago today, as my baby sister.
I didn't actually like her very much for most of our childhood. For starters, I wanted a brother. I already had a sister. I was *that* disappointed that my mother felt the need to console me by allowing me to name her. I called her Shelly. After my babysitter. Who else did I know at three and a half?
Growing up, I found her annoying because she followed me around a lot. And all my friends swooned over her big blue eyes and blonde, blonde ringlets. They all thought she was sooooo cute. And oh my heavens, did she play up to it! Face of an angel, temperament of a she-devil!
When I left the family nest, she was still a child of thirteen. I remember her changing the spelling of her name a year or so later and I felt so put out! Seeing as how I was the one that named her! I think on it now and it was a real indication of the individuality and strength of character this young woman had in abundance, that would later become so evident.
It wasn't until she spent a few months living with me in Australia, in 2001, that I got to know her as an adult. That stint created the foundations of what was to become a fiercely strong connection. The premature birth of her son in 2003 bought us even closer and when my turn at mothering arrived (at loooooong last), I regularly took Chell's counsel, who already had a few years of parenting two small children under her belt.
We often lament the ocean that separates us.
There are a myriad of reasons why she cannot be here and I cannot be there. And while Skype and other various forms of electronic communication are invaluable, it pains us both that our children grow up without a devoted and doting Aunt living around the corner. And we ache for the physical embrace of the other constantly. It won't always be this way, I trust in that. But for now, we make do.
Chell and Goose
I am immensely grateful for the gift of my sister, my mirror, my confident, my friend.
I feel honoured to watch her transition into the woman she's becoming. So strong, so confident, so wise, so loving. I feel very much that she was a gift from the goddesses, into the lives of many - not just my own.
Happy, happy birthday sweet sister.
You are forever treasured in my heart.
May the sea breezes carry our kisses across the ocean to you, on this auspicious day.
The 31st anniversary of the day the world got just that little bit more special.