Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Carole!

Today is my sister Carole’s birthday. Carole is way, way older than I am (well, 18 months older than I am so she’ll hit 50 before I do). She’s beautiful and smart and funny and just basically a great person.

Carole and I were fairly typical siblings as we were growing up. Because I was a little bit younger and more than a little bit annoying, I drove her crazy. My older brother Phillip and I did the real fighting, and Carole would sort of cower in the middle, trying to stay out of the fray. But we had fun too. Carole’s bed was two twins stuck together to make a king sized bed, and many nights she’d let me sleep with her. We’d pretend the bed was a boat, and that we were either stranded somewhere, or on a great adventure. The greatest adventure that happened in that bed was the night that Phillip hid under the covers at the end of the bed and waited quietly until we had settled down and turned off the light. Then he pounced out with a great growl and scared the you-know-what out of us. The other great adventure of our childhood was at St. George Island when I was about 5 and she was about 7 (I think this picture of her is from that particular trip). The grownups had a pot of boiling water in which to put a bunch of freshly caught crabs. The crabs didn't like the hot water, of course, and they frantically moved around enough to overturn the pot of water. Crabs were crawling all around the house, and Carole and I climbed on the dining room table and screamed.

As we got older, we got closer. From the time she left for college until now, she’s been my best friend, my confidant and great supporter. When Rick and I moved to Atlanta we moved into her neighborhood and Carole and I spent many hours together – walking in the morning, playing cards on the weekend, hanging out at the pool, camping with our families. What a gift for me, to be that close in proximity and in relationship to her. Now she and her family live in Cumming, and that’s still pretty close, but we don’t get to see nearly as much of each other and I miss her.
Carole is a fantastic mother. Just take one look at Kelsey and you’ll know that. Kelsey is brilliant, delightful and beautiful, and you can tell, just by looking at her and talking to her that she has great parents. Carole is a fantastic wife. Just look at how she interacts with Derek, and watch how he interacts with her, and you can see that they have a marriage that works. They’re friends, and they talk, and they have fun together. Carole is also a fantastic daughter. She’s thoughtful, caring and present. But for me, Carole is a fantastic sister. She’s been there for me when I needed anything – a sympathetic ear, a good talking to, a good laugh or even money (fortunately a long, long time ago). I cherish the times we get to spend together and wish it could be more frequent.

And so, on the anniversary of her birth, I say HAPPY BIRTHDAY CAROLE! I love you!

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