If you've been reading recent posts, you could easily come to the conclusion that every single person I know was born within a week of each other. Namely, this week. This is not true, but I can't prove that right now. You're just going to have to trust me.
Today is the birthday of one of the top five people in the world: My baby sister Crasey.
She is wonderful. How wonderful? Well, let me tell you.
Crasey was born 22 years ago today, and was, like all of the children in my family (all FIVE of us) an less-than-fully-planned-for blessing. Otherwise known as an accident, but it's a semantic distinction that pleases my mother, so we'll go with that for now. I'm a little unclear on the details, and my memory is notoriously faulty but this is what I know about the situation. Here's how it goes. Near the end of the first trimester, the doctors found indicators of breast cancer in my mother -- during the "waiting for results" period, they strongly recommended she consider terminating the pregnancy so that if it were malignant, she could undergo aggressive treatment. I can't even imagine what Mom and Dad went through during that week or so of waiting, but in the end, they decided to keep the baby, and Dad would raise all four of us alone if it came to that. Holy shit. I can't even imagine having a conversation like that. Just the thought of it makes the hair on my head stand up and the bottom of my belly fall out. In the end, everything was fine, the pregnancy proceeded as normal, and when Crasey popped out at the end of 9 months, she turned out to be one of the most thoroughly charming, ebullient, forthright, and loving little persons ever placed upon the earth.
(Please forgive the super-retardo expression on my face. I was well on my way to winning the Annual Thanksgiving Drunk Crown that year. It was a memorable performance on my part, and Crasey only egged me on.)
As a child, she only wore dresses. And the only way she really liked to wear dresses was over her head. There may not be a single soul who was alive in central North Carolina during the late 1980s that didn't see my little sister running naked through a grocery store. She also loved to chew gum. Her favorite kind of gum was the kind you scrape off the bottom of chairs in schools and libraries. Consequently, she's immune to every disease known to man.
She loves an underdog. Her favorite stuffed animal as a child was called Ugly Dog. She picked him off a table of stuffed animals for the single reason that he was the ugliest stuffed animal in the whole collection. She is a ferocious defender of people she loves, one of the most gifted and funniest story tellers I know, and fiercely protective of her gum. If her stash is running low, don't even ask her to share.
She used to be wonderfully gullible. Our brother the Fairy King once convinced her, upon discovering that she'd put salt in his milk, that this was like poison, and he would die shortly. To assuage her guilt, he graciously allowed her to do all of his chores until he passed away. Eventually she became sufficiently suspicious of his continued good health, and asked Mom just exactly how long it took to die from salted milk? She learned a valuable lesson, there. As a result, she is one of the most excellent judges of character I've ever known. This is great for me, since I seem to be less than gifted in that arena.
I could write a book about how much I love my sister Crasey, and another about all the fantastically wonderful trouble we get into when left to our own devices, but I suspect it might be better never to post stories like that on the Interweb. I love you, Crase. Probably not as much as you love a well-balanced meal of chicken, rice, and vegetable, but all things considered, it's still quite a lot of love. Happy birthday.