I was the only girl sandwiched in-between two brothers. Add to that, my parents' best friends only had boys. I desperately wanted a sister. So when I was 7-years-old, I began praying for a sister. And got one when I was 8! (My mom was a little surprised.) I wish I had pictures of my best friend and me pushing Sandra up and down the street in a baby carriage. It seemed like we'd do that for hours but it was probably only until she started crying. If Gary thought he was "mothered to death," Sandra probably felt "s'mothered" by me. She was adorable and our entire family doted on her. We'd laugh at the cute things she'd do and her little attitude she developed. One of the funniest stories is we tried to call her "Sandy." But she'd stomp her little foot and say, "I'm SANDRA, not Sandy!" She stayed Sandra. We were all very protective of her. I remember one time she was climbing on the kitchen cabinets and fell. I began screaming, "SHE HAD A SUCKER IN HER MOUTH!!" I think she was actually knocked out for a few minutes and Mom and Dad were desperately digging for the sucker to no avail. She "came to" wailing...because she'd dropped her sucker. Sandra had an Easy Bake Oven when she was about 6-years-old. Mom would take cake mixes and make them into Easy Bake Oven portions. She'd make cakes for hours. And Bob & Gary, our brothers, would run through the house grabbing cakes and eating them in one bite as fast as she could make them. Sandra was 11-years-old when I left home for college and 12 when I married.
Sandra is a beautiful mother to 5 great kids! Five kids who adore her. Five kids whose greatnesses are a reflection of her own.
She's grown in beauty. And she has developed the gentle and quiet spirit I've longed to have. She's everything I wish I could be. My brother, Bob, said, "Sandra is one of the mildest and sweetest people I know!" So true.
Sandra's been through some difficult circumstances in the past couple of years. But it's hard to tell. She remains steady and completely dependent on God. I love to hang out with her! We can laugh our heads off, share what we're learning about God, and point each other to truth.
This past year, we've walked through some experiences together which have empowered us. Sandra has always been great...but she has found her voice and is becoming even more great, if that is possible. Every time I'm with her, I see new growth. She is fearless.
I'm so glad God heard my 7-year-old cry for a sister! He exceeded my expectations!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LITTLE SISTER!
I love you now more than ever.
And that's a lot.