“Lord help the mister who comes between me and my sister…” ~ “Sisters” by Irving Berlin
(1993: Me – 17, Katie – 23, Emilie – 25)
It’s fitting that the eldest of six was born on the first day of the month. Anyone who knows my sister Emilie would understand why she was placed in this position in the family.
Mom tells the story that she and Emilie had an argument in heaven as to who would get to be the mom of this family and she won. Emilie has always been a mom. If you don’t know her, here’s a birthday tribute that will elaborate on her role as #1.
This tribute is four days late because of no internet until yesterday and my running to and fro. When I wished Emilie a happy birthday on the phone and apologized for being late with this post she said, “It’s ok. I know it doesn’t mean you love me less.” Right, she is.
My Earliest Memories of You:
Carrying baby Parker all over. I’m sure this was not the beginning of, but most likely the hey-day of your babysitting career. At age 12 and Mom & Dad now having 5 kids, your skills would definitely been in demand then and 3 years later when Sam was born.
I was enthralled while watching you get ready for Junior Prom. You looked prettier than Cinderella in your burgundy and lace gown. I wished so much that I was big enough to fit in that hoop skirted dress.
I remember discovering the hiding place for your candy. It was under the hat of your stuffed Paddington Bear. (Gosh, I was such a snoopy pants! The reason you hid your candy is probably because of me.)
My Fondest Memories:
As a college student, I was 10 and you came to the hospital and brought me a stuffed bear and a card when I got my tonsils out. You also sent me a really sweet card when I was having friend troubles at age 13. (I still have both of these cards, by the way.)
During my Junior High school years I got to take a friend or cousin to your house in Cedar City for a few days in the summers. You were always so good to us.
Living near you for a few years and going on morning walks, shopping, being your babysitter, going to the movies or helping you with canning.
The Singles Conferences–the ones where we lost hope and the ones that gave it back. Commiserating about the sociopaths that rocked our worlds; laughing about the creepy men and the ones who boosted our self esteem… oh, and Mario and Chuck. (We had a hard time remembering the men’s names we met so we came up with our own names for them).
And then there was that one day in November where you came to church with me. You know the day. It had something to do with a certain Gospel Doctrine teacher with the initials J.B. This day, consequently, led to another day in a sealing room where your parents and little brothers and sisters, along with their spouses, watched our big sister get the man we all prayed for and knew she deserved.
Traits That Might Signify We Chose to be Siblings in Pre-Earth Life (or maybe you just rubbed off on me):
We notice when something or someone is out of place (Mom’s right–we should have been P.I.’s). Repetitive noises grate our nerves and we have to hunt it down and fix it or kick it. We can fall asleep in a blink. We survived the crazies. We play the piano. We’re submissive but feisty when the occasion calls for it. And we married two guys who happened to be bachelor buddies.
What I Admire Most About You:
You’re more loyal than the best man’s best canine friend. You’re always going to great lengths to show your appreciation for family, friends, and acquaintances by baking, quilting, rescuing, teaching, canning, gardening, tending–always showing up before we even have to ask. You’re smart, reliable and dedicated in anything you have an interest in which explains your long and much appreciated EMT career. You can get more done in a day than just about anyone I know.
You still keep us in line (as best you can) with your let’s-get-down-to-business tactics.
With all that you’ve been through, you haven’t let the hurt destroy your faith.
Mom may have been joking about the premortal argument, but I do believe you were fore-ordained to be the first-born: with the spiritual gifts of determination and faith, you are truly an anchor of strength to those who love you.
Happy Birthday, Em!
Your Little Sister