ten random things about my kid sister…

1. twenty-six years and approximately ten and a half hours ago today my little sister amy was born.

2. there are thirteen years between us and nine years between she and my sister, marisa.  my  mother gave birth to her when she was thirty-six.  this doesn’t seem like much now, but amy was born in the era before it was common for women to give birth after the age of 35.  this was also before the gender determining ultra sounds were popular so none of us knew whether the baby was a boy or girl.

3. my mother’s labor started when i was playing at a friend’s house.  i was taken from there to mrs. wilkin’s  home (my “adopted” grandmother)  to spend the night while my parents were at the hospital.

4. i woke up sometime in the middle of the night and wondered if the baby had yet been born.  not much later, the phone rang.  within a few minutes, mrs. wilkin came into the guest  room where marisa and i were sharing the hide-a-bed sofa.  she tiptoed to my side, crouched down and whispered “it’s a girl!”

5. several hours later,  my dad came to the house for breakfast.  he was so happy he was walking about six inches off the ground and carried with him a photo.  i kept telling myself that the pink and white, chubby cheeked bundle in the bassinet was my sister but it took quite a while to register.   several hours later i got to hold her for the first time.  i noticed she had a tiny dimple above her right ear.  as far as i know, it is still there.

6. amy has always been very creative.  she loved to draw, she loved to write.  she was later joined by two younger brothers for whom she would stage very elaborate play times.  the three of them were either pirates, cowboys, or a chinese emperor and his servants.

7. amy loves dogs.   she took in my dog scruffy when she was a toddler.  with a new little sister to play with, i didn’t have much time for my dog.  she loved scruffy and cared for her until she died on the morning of amy’s tenth birthday.  amy was so brokenhearted she could hardly eat her birthday breakfast.   a few years later, amy decided she wanted a shih-tzu.  we couldn’t afford a puppy so amy decided to pray for one.  a family heard of amy’s desire and decided to give her their shih-tzu, lexi.  he became her faithful side kick and is still living although very old now in dog years.  it was through amy and lexi that i discovered my own love of shih-tzus.

8. amy has a very tender heart but she also has a soul of iron.  she has been through much in her 26 years; much more than most people experience in a lifetime.  she has  literally looked her fears directly in the face, managed to stare them down, and gone on to use that experience as a focal point of her creativity; using her creative genius to reach out to others who are hurting.

9. amy began writing songs when she was in jr. high and taught herself to play the guitar from a chord chart purchased at wal-mart.  she jerry-rigged a few mattresses together to build a sound booth, recorded her music, then sent it to a producer in hopes that  he would listen.  she didn’t stop asking until he agreed to give her an audience. a few years later i received a package in the  mail.  it was amy’s first album made with this producer.  i cried when i saw she had dedicated it to me.  and others of course.  but as far as i was concerned it may as well have just been me, i was so proud.

10.  the homemade sound booth recording was the launch of her music career.  since then she has recorded an album, made appearances on television,  appeared in concert with damien rice, and given numerous concerts for charity.  she recently released a  new song “gasoline rainbows” to help fund clean-up efforts for the oil spill.  the song was also made into a video.

happy birthday amy!  we love you lots and are so proud of whom you’ve become.

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