Well Wishes to My Sister on Her Birthday

Today is my sister’s ___ birthday. I am not about to reveal her age but will note that she is younger than me. I am breaking my promise not to ever write about her. But as relationships between sisters often go – you don’t always keep your promises to each other, especially if there is a good reason for not doing so.

I believe I have a great reason for breaking my promise to her. Not only do I want to celebrate her birthday, but also, I want her to know how much I admire her. She has been battling multiple myeloma for nearly seven years, enduring often painful and debilitating treatments with strength and resolve I am not certain I would have in the face of this life challenging disease. As the older sister, I grew up being considered the stronger one, the leader of the pack. And while probably most often true when we were younger, my sister’s resilience and attitude towards managing her illness demonstrate character strength equal to, if not greater than, how I might cope faced with similar circumstances.

As children we grew up sharing a bedroom, taking piano and ice-skating lessons, and attending the same schools. The only activities I remember that we didn’t do together were going to the library and baton twirling lessons. Guess who did which one?  I spent hours reading and my sister took baton twirling lessons. She even won a trophy in a grammar school baton twirling competition.

As young adults, we went to different private Illinois colleges and majored in different subjects. She married before I did and doesn’t have children. However, she has been very kind, generous and supportive to my children as well as to her other nieces and nephews. She has many interests which she has cultivated over the years. First and foremost, she could have been a concert pianist but didn’t want to face the rigor of competitions. Still, she plays the piano far above an amateur level. She enjoys sewing, painting, and cooking – which I don’t, but we do share a love for dogs and doing wooden jigsaw puzzles.

Although our lives have taken different paths, and we don’t live close to each other, we share a bond that time has only deepened. I have always been grateful that she is in my life and I am sure she feels the same way about me. We have had our differences as any siblings do, but still manage to get along.  My wish for her birthday is that she won’t mind my breaking my promise and that she enjoys many more of them.

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