Saturday night, my sister Jennifer celebrated her 50th birthday. After dinner she said, “As I reflected on turning 50, I realized I didn’t want a big blowout party. I guess there’s something about aging that makes you grateful for your family, your health, your marriage, your children, and your dearest friends.”
Uh-oh. My heart pounded triple time. She planned to say something about each of us. I was the bossy older sister. The tattle-tale. I organized neighborhood plays and always got to be the director.
One night in the tub, I convinced Jennifer to take a bite of Dial soap. I told her everybody ate soap.
I told her if she’d put her Popsicles in my mouth, they wouldn’t melt so fast because my mouth was just like a refrigerator.
I told her to never say the words VENETIAN BLINDS.
“VENETIAN BLINDS means something dark and scary, and you’re way too young to understand.” Bless her heart. She believed me.
Would she remember all the ugly stuff I’d done? Would she tell everybody at the party?
Flash back to 1968. Mother’s folding diapers. Jen’s twirling her hair. I’m smiling at the camera with my hands on my hips, probably telling Jen to behave and smile too.
Okay, back to Saturday night, Jen’s words…
“As my sister, Julie, you truly know me better than anyone, next to Charlie, Libby, and the Lord! It’s hard to put into words the gratitude I feel for you.” (Charlie’s her hubby. Libby’s their daughter.)
Gratitude? Did she say gratitude?
“From the time I was a little girl to now, I’ve looked up to you and admired you. We had such fun as sisters.”
We were both crying, but somehow she continued.
“Playing in the sprinkler in matching bathing suits, groove-ins on Nancy Clutter’s porch, cereal and cartoons on Saturdays, me, jumping in your bed with you at night because I’d heard something and was terrified. You let me put my cold feet on your warm ones. You’ve always been there for me. I know I can confide in you.”
Oh, wow. She only remembers the good stuff.
How can it be? She’s let go of all the mean things I did to her.
(Jen, me, and Mother–44 years later–the night of the party!)
Staring at her 1960′s groovy cake, I thought…
What if I could live like Jennifer?
What if I “kept no record of wrongs?” 1 Corinthians 13:5
And dwelled only on the good stuff.
Help me, Lord.
Julie~ Was anyone else a bossy child?