I feel it is only appropriate to end my night thinking about how blessed I am to have such an amazing family. With 7 brothers and sisters, my life is full of wonderful memories and stories that seriously can't be made up even if we tried.
Theresa (my twin) and I were number 7 and 8 in the line up. My mom and dad were shocked with the pregnancy. Why do you ask, well she was 43. The other shock? The doctor told her she was having a 10 pound baby boy. Instead? a tiny 4lb 14ounce girl (me) and then 8 minutes later? a 5lb 6ounce little girl (Theresa). My three brothers and three sisters were about to get the surprise of their lives! I'll always say that God blessed me with my twin so would not have to be an "only child" (Our other siblings were older---ranging from 22 to 10 years older than me and Theresa) But not only did God bless me with my twin, but with Peggy, the oldest/wisest/most amazing big sister anyone could ever have. Today on her birthday, I reflect on who she is, and why she is so very important to not only me but to my family.
It takes a special person to be the oldest, especially of 8. No one in my family is more perfect for taking the "oldest" sibling role than Peggy. God, I think, created Peggy, specifically for that responsibility. So what makes her the perfect big sister? It just so happens that I am in a list making kind of mood, so that is how I'll be organizing my thoughts.
1. She is a protector. Not in a "i'll beat you up" sort of way (unless there is another side to her I don't know about!) but a mother hen type of way.
2. Empathy. She is the most understanding individual I know. She may not always agree with you or doesn't exactly know what a person is feeling, and she never tries to fake that she does. That's what I love about her. Even though she may not fully understand what I might be facing, she is fully capable of giving me empathy and support.
3. Sleep overs. The memories I have (and I guess I'll speak for Theresa too) sleeping over at Peggy's houses (first in Latonia, then Falmouth and finally Covington) are unforgettable. These are the days that I felt the most love. The simple gesture of her giving up her weekend to host her baby sisters is the most kind thing she could have done for us. Peggy, you have no idea how much happiness those sleepovers gave me.
4. Vacations. Canada to florida, Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York...the list goes on and on. Sure she had a camera shoved in our faces at every second (funny how the tables have turned) but she did that so we could remember our vacations through pictures. Thank you Peggy for allowing me and Theresa to always tag-along on your adventures with your family!
5. Selflessness. This is the most important roll of a big sister and Peggy's pciture, I think should be next to the definition in Merriam-Webster. She has always and will always put others before herself---period. I could call her up this very moment and tell her that the only way I could go to sleep is if she didn't and she would totally stay awake just to give me the opportunity to sleep.
6. Devotion to family. Everything my sister does encircles her family. Every movement, action, thought is all decided upon this one question, "How will this affect my family?" She is the one always coming up with great opportunities for our family to get together, to be together.
8. Hard working. My sister works her butt off. she always has and always will. As a little sib, being able to look up to a person with such a strong work ethic, without a doubt helped shape me into the person I am today.
9. Quirky. Ever oldest sibling needs to be quirkey. My sister has the "sexy walk" the "Peggy laugh" and many other quirks to her that just make her, her. I love that fact that she can take any situation and make it a memorable one. Like the time we were scrounging for pennies JUST to buy a roast beef sandwich while Dale was buying a car at the dealership--hysterical.
10. Ability to bond with each younger sibling. We smith kids are all crazy and we all love each other very much (that goes without saying). I think that is the case because we had such a beautiful foundation to build that on. Peggy has developed a special relationship with each sibling and appreciates each one of us for our differences--that means there is never a dull conversation with her and each time you see her, and interact with her is always genuine.
There are so many more things I could say about my amazing sister, but my tears are getting in the way of being able to see what I am typing. I'll end by saying this:
Peggy, I hope you had a wonderful birthday. My day was perfect just knowing that on this day you were brought into this world. We are so blessed--God designed you just for us, to be the anchor of our family. The phone calls, the "it'll be fun" outings, among many other precious memories I hold dear to my heart are all reminders of how amazing you are. I wish you nothing but a year full of love, happiness and most importantly family. I love you so much!