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Happy Birthday, Gina!

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Happy Birthday, Gina!

Is solace anywhere more comforting than in the arms of a sister.  ~Alice Walker

A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit, a golden thread to the meaning of life.  ~Isadora James

Today is my sister, Gina's birthday. She was my first best friend and I love her with all my heart. We are very much alike in our morals and values and how we raise our kids but we have always been like two sides of the same coin. I was really outgoing as a kid and she was really shy. I was boy crazy. She was more reserved and...choosy. She was book smart, I was common sense smart. She held back with her feelings, I told it like it was. She was the "good daughter" always willing to help without asking. I would help but I waited to be asked. She has a long fuse, I have a short one. I like the image of the same coin because quite honestly, I feel so close to her that it feels like a part of me is missing when I go too long without seeing or talking to her.

When we were younger, we were the "big ones" while our three younger sisters were the "little ones". We laugh because when we talk now, we still refer to our three other sisters as the little ones. We shared a room and spent countless nights talking about our hopes and our dreams. We were going to get married (to John Stamos and Scott Baio) and live by each other and go to each other's houses every day. We would call each other "Sis" and Saturdays, we would play Barbie's or House all day long until we had to go to church and then we'd come home and play until we had to go to bed. As we got older, I enjoyed the "setting up" more than the playing and she'd get mad at me for quitting right after we were done setting up.

She was always the better student that I was forever compared to but she worked her butt off to get those grades and I was more interested in going out with my boyfriend. I was the loud hopeless romantic and she was more quiet but the dreams were always the same. She was always beautiful and funny and had a heart of gold that broke whenever she saw someone hurting. If someone ever hurt me, she'd become fiercely protective and usually ice them out. She had a look that could kill and any guy I dated knew they had to win over Gina in order for us to keep dating.

She is my funniest sister (though Nikki is a close second) and one time put me in the hospital from laughing so hard. I was sick to begin with but that put me over the edge. I think when we go days that life is so crazy and we don't get to talk for a long time, it's the laughing I miss the most. She knows me well enough to know that when I call her with a problem, she doesn't play "Devil's Advocate" at first. She sides with me, tells me the other person is wrong and then shows me another point of view. She is the first person I go to when I am sad, mad or happy and she cries, yells or celebrates right along with me.

When we went to college, we roomed together and even joined the same sorority. We were quickly nicknamed "Good twin/Bad twin" (which I still really hate) because I told it like it was and she was more politically correct. When Gina told one of our roommates to bring a fan to add to our townhouse and the girl brought a decorative fan for the wall, Gina just said, "Oh, that's nice" while I couldn't help but say, "Are you for real?" I wanted people to pay their bills while Gina would just politely remind them. She was always better at that stuff than me. She still is. We had a blast in college sharing all the same experiences and even some classes (she got the A's and I got the B's). The best part of that is that Gina is in all of my memories from college.

Getting married was hard. She got married first and I wasn't ready to share her. We were the most important person in each other's lives since I could remember that I wasn't ready to take a step down. I'm pretty sure we thought that no one would ever be good enough for either of us but seeing how happy my brother-in-law made her made it easier. He appreciated how beautiful and funny she was and he and Leo got along so we did a lot with the four of us. I have absolutely no right but it made me so proud to see her as a wife and then a mother. She does exceedingly well at both and makes it look so easy. I am sometimes so jealous of how well she handles the chaos of parenthood. I love the conversations we have unloading on how hard it is and then building each other up and supporting each other until the  next challenge hits.

I have often said she should have been born first. She possesses all of those qualities of a first born including calling me reminding me of things I should be doing or people I should be calling. She has always looked out for me in that way. She doesn't want anyone mad at me or talking about me. She is literally my safety net for when I fall and if you have read the blog up to this point, I'm a little bit of a faller. I'm the older sister and if anyone ever crossed her or hurt her, I'd have a hard time restraining myself but I never get the chance to. She's too busy looking out for me to even notice anyone being mean to her.

To wrap it up, she is one of the best people I know and I am proud to call her my sister and my best friend. She's the the glass half full to my glass half empty. She is the jelly to my peanut butter and she's the eggs to my bacon. She's the Shirley to my Laverne and the Thelma to my Louise (though the Felix to my Oscar is probably more accurate). The thing is that men have come and gone (not too many) and friends have come and gone but the one thing that remains the same is that through thick and thin, Gina has remained by my side. Without her, life isn't much fun.

So on this day, and way too late (it's almost ten and she is sure in bed by now), I wish her a happy, happy birthday. I look forward to another year of lots of laughs and wonderful memories made.

Love you, Gina.


At September 19, 2011 at 6:43 AM , Blogger Kendra Mareva said...

What a suiting tribute to one of the loveliest people I know. xox
Great pic too. :)


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