thinking between the lines

A Tribute to My Sister

Today is my older sister’s birthday. As she will tell you, I enjoy pointing out that she is indeed the older one – if only by one year and twenty-three days – because I frequently get comments like, “Leigh Anne’s older?!?! I thought you were!” I tell myself the comments are just because I’m taller, but I’m attempting to be transparently honest on this blog, so I better not start lying today. The truth is, she does look younger.

Not only do people think she’s younger, but she also has been tagged “the pretty one.” Now, before you start feeling sorry for me – don’t. Laurie (my younger sister) and I enjoy the laughs we get out of this one. One time, a co-resident at our grandmother’s retirement home walked up to my father and Laurie. The woman was clearly disappointed not to see Leigh Anne and asked, “Butch, where’s your daughter?” Daddy responded, “Well, she’s right here.” The woman looked at Laurie and said, “No, the pretty one.” Can you believe it?!?!

People think Leigh Anne is younger, prettier, and we jokingly balance the whole thing by saying she’s mean. However, the truth is, there isn’t a mean bone in her body. She isn’t mean, but she is fierce – not in the aggressive sense, but in the profound, deeply felt sense. She is fierce about her convictions. She is fierce about her friendships. She is fierce about her loyalty. She is fierce about her relationship with her husband, her children, her grandchildren, her Daddy, her Mama, her sisters, her nieces and nephews, her grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and anyone related to the above. Leigh Anne understands the value of people; they are the most important things to her. Chances are, if you once had a close relationship with Leigh Anne, you still do, and if you don’t, it’s probably because you are the one who left. She’s too fierce to give up on anything.

So, happy birthday, my sister. If you don’t know it, I admire you greatly and smile everyday at the immeasurable blessings God has poured upon you. You deserve them.

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