Today she turns 40- that second sister of mine. My favorite childhood memory of her is that time as a toddler when she was crawling around the patio during a summer backyard BBQ. We had this very slippery patio you see. As pre-teens, on a hot summer day, we’d throw our swimsuits on- altogether us sisters and cousins too, run the garden hose over it and slip-n-slide. At the end of a good session, our knees would be rubbed red and bruised. We didn’t care- fun was all we knew. There were no plastic slip-n-slides and if there were- our parents didn’t have the money to buy one. We did what we could and played with what we had. What we lacked in money we made up with in creativity. But I digress.
Back to my sister. She was crawling all over that slippery patio while Dad BBQ-ed some type of delicious meat. I remember we had those windows in the kitchen that opened up to the patio and we’d pass the carne asada raw and cooked back and forth through that window. The meat always marinated in this giant, mint green tupperware bowl. Man, every time I saw that bowl- I just knew it was going to be on. So there went my sister – maybe 18 months old and she’s crawling around that slippery patio and hardly anyone is paying any attention to her until- PLOP!– she picks up a nice, juicy slug of a snail and just throws it in her mouth. I’m not quite sure who noticed first that she seemed to be crunching away on something not right. Next thing you know- they ran right over to her and took it out of her mouth or what remained of that little insect and washed that mouth out with water and Lord knows what else.
I couldn’t look at my sister in the same way for a few months after that. Every time I thought of her- I thought- there she goes- a snail snacker. The only way Mom and Dad explained it was you know your sister- she’s always getting herself into something- she can never sit still- that one.
And so she remains to this day. Mother of four, husband to one, full-time working momma with a side business – making homemade, personalized sugar cookies, cupcakes and party planning. She planned her own 40th birthday bash a few weeks ago and it was spectacular- tequila shots, 90’s music in a cottage along the beach. She just finished baking personalized cookies/cake pops for our niece’s 15th birthday party. She always goes over the top and she can never stand still- constantly moving and plotting her next move. She gives her entire heart to her others. I worry about her sometimes as I do with all of them in different ways- that she gives too much, does too much and not enough time is spent on herself.
She is brilliant, talented, and full of life and love. I hope she remembers that today- a celebration of her 40 years on this earth- and always. As her big sister, I will try to remind her of that. Love you Mel. Sisters forever.