Wednesday, January 7, 2009

happy birthday, beautiful!

Today is the thirtieth birthday of my sister, the person with whom I share more formative memories and experiences than anyone else on earth. I love Rachel with such an intense love that I sometimes fear what would become of me if she were gone. So much of my identity is/was affected by her existence. Every time our birthdays roll around, six days apart, I remember the matching pink and purple crocheted afghans we got one birthday. Matching presents happened a lot, pink for Rachel and purple for me.

This is the first time I held her.

Mom wrote in the photo album that I called and called the hospital to find out when Rachel would be home. It feels like an accurate snapshot of an enduring, lifelong feeling I have of my sister, a picture that I hope over life's course will outshine those times that I have failed to hold her, out of my ignorance or blindness.

Rachel is a very strong woman, funny as hell, frank to the death, a loyal friend. Many, many people are better off for her presence in the world. I am one.

Today is also the birthday of Rachel's namesake, our Grandma Maxine, who passed away this fall. Here they are together 30 years ago! There are better photos of them together, I'm sure, but I love this one because of Rachel's intensity over a plastic egg.

And here she is modern day. Modern 7 days ago, actually, on New Years' with Cam. She and two girlfriends dressed up crazy funky and went out with their husbands. They dressed normal normal.

1 comment:

handfull of johnsons said...

That's the best present ever and it wasn't about me, and it wasn't my birthday. Imagine how Rachel will feel!