Sunday, August 17, 2008

Birthday wishes to Sherry

My second book was dedicated to my sister, "who believes in me, and who doesn't hold it against me that I was mean to her when we were little." She reads NRJW and today is her birthday, so I thought I'd post something mushy.

To those of you who think you have the best sister in the world: I'm sorry, but you don't. I do. I was stupid and selfish for years and years, but I finally realized what I had, and now I know her friendship has been one of the great blessings of my life.

She lives in Dallas with her husband, who like her is a petroleum landman. (No, she is not a landperson, but a female landman. Isn't that a hoot?) I want to tell two stories about her because a handful of you who read this blog have actually met her.

I had my first-ever migraine in Dallas in the summer of 2004. I had just arrived for the Romance Writers of America conference, and my sister picked me up at the airport. We went out for a nice lunch, but when I ran to the ladies room to lose my cream of asparagus soup, she gathered me up and drove me straight to the hotel, which was overrun with thousands of Mary Kay representatives. (Seriously. Thousands.) Those of you who arrived on that Wednesday afternoon will remember the two-hour long check-in lines. While I slumped in a chair in the ladies' lounge and moaned, my sister stood in that awful line with my luggage. Then she came and found me and took me to my room. Realizing that I didn't have the flu but a migraine, she gave me one of her own pills and put me to bed.

Pretty heroic, wouldn't you say? She did something equally amazing at the RWA conference in Dallas in 2007. Again, she picked me up at the airport and we went out for a lovely meal. Then she took me to my hotel, and was coming up to my room to see me settled when I started running into friends.

There was a group just inside the entrance. Greetings were exchanged and introductions made. There was another group next to the check-in desk. And another friend next to the coffee shop. And a couple more by the elevator. That was all very nice for me, because everyone was eager to congratulate me on my RITA nomination. But my sister was uncomfortable.

She never said a word, never nudged my arm and gave me a let's-get-out-of-here look. She greeted all of my friends politely, so I assumed she was having as much fun as I was. But as we stepped onto the elevator, I remembered: She was feeling ugly because she was in the midst of some extensive oral surgery and on that day was missing a front tooth. She's cute and dresses well, but when I look at her I just see my sister. I'd laughed when I climbed into her car at the airport and saw that big black hole in her smile, but I'd forgotten it right away because she's my sister and I'd love her even if she was cross-eyed and bow-legged and bald and completely toothless.

I didn't stop to think about how she must have felt when I introduced her to a dozen of my writing pals. But she was proud of me and enjoyed seeing me receive all of that attention, so she stood bravely beside me and tried to smile with her mouth closed.

See what I mean about her being the best sister in the world?

Love you, Skeezicks. Have a wonderful day.


Anonymous said...

Wow...all that, and I'll bet she is tall, thin, and beautiful too!

Those are very kind words, thank you. But, really, not as heroic as described. I love my sister very much...enough said.

LaShaunda said...

Happy Birthday Sherry,

May you be blessed with many more. I'm glad you have a sister who isn't too proud to appreciate you NOW.

There's nothing like a sister and if you're friends that's a double blessing.

Brenda thanks for sharing your sister stories, makes me appreciate my sisters more.

Brenda Coulter said...

It was my pleasure, LaShaunda. And as you probably guessed, she's the "Anonymous" who commented right before you. Isn't she a peach?