Happy Birthday to my sister Paula!!!
My mom would be really proud of my sister. She would have loved the way my sister is a sweet and loving grandparent to her grandchildren. My sister is way too young to be called Grandma so her grandbabies call her something else…something that does not even sound like grandma.
My sister was the one who was physically the closest to my parents…She lived in the town we grew up in only blocks away from my mom and dad. I think my mom and dad always felt safe with her nearby. She would stop and see them every day, shop for them, bring them the paper, bake them treats, bring them special foods and later on do their banking and bill paying and appointment making. She was their rock. I know it was hard for her.
My brothers and I tried to relieve her as much as we could but it could never ever be enough. She willingly cared for them and did as much for them as she could. I know she thinks she did not do enough but that is so not the case. She did so much and my mom and dad are proud of her and will always smile at her from heaven. My mom always used the word “my” before our names. She would always say “Oh my Paula or My John or My Jimmy or My Patty”. I know that even when she was so ill and so unsure of things…her face lit up when she saw her Paula. I can only say this again…my sister was her rock. I was the weak one while my sister did the stuff that needed to be done. My sister Paula did the hard stuff.
I would breeze in and try to take up the slack but my sister was the one who did what needed to be done day after day after day. When we were little we would always play together. My mom always dressed us alike for some odd reason. We had the same dolls but with different names. We read the same books. We played with the same friends. When I was finally given the responsibility of watching my sister Paula…I inadvertently lost her. We were mere blocks from our house at our town’s July 4th Festival. I remember putting her on a baby merry go round…then I got distracted with my friends and turned away from where the merry go round would stop. In those few seconds she stepped off the merry go round, was rescued and brought home to my mom by our neighbor. You can imagine how mad my mom was when I came home without her. I had a long story ready in my head about how I lost her…but she was safe at home eating cookies. I don’t think she even knew she was lost.
My sister Paula remains the anchor of the four of us today. She doesn’t want this…she doesn’t need it…but she is my anchor…she will always be where I call home. She is who I check in with and talk to not every day but a few times a week. Her cooking is what I want. Her house is where I go for Thanksgiving. And she was the last of us to see my mom and dad alive. Just one more way that she took care of them.
Happy Birthday, Paula!!!