Sunday, September 14, 2008

Little Sis

Most families don't have quite the gap in ages that ours has, but some know what I'm talking about.

I was 15 years old when my Mom took me aside & told me that I was going go have a new sibling! We were all so excited about our new addition to the family, and needless to say surprised. (Well, except my 12 year old brother, Steve. He wasn't too thrilled with the whole idea at first!)

I was home all that summer but soon my heart was torn when it was time to decide about the next school year. You see, I had already attended KCCBS for my Freshman year and had loved all that went along with it. But now, things were changing in my home, and if I returned to Kansas City, I wouldn't always be at home to be a part of the new chapter of our lives. It was quite a hard decision for a 15 year old to make, and just maybe if Mom or Dad had encouraged me to stay home, I might have done so. But they made it be my decision, and I do remember it being hard to leave home for school...with my Mom expecting a baby in just a few short weeks.

Just a couple of weeks after I returned for the fall semester, the common phone in the dorm hallway rang early one morning. It was Dad telling me that I had a new baby sister!!! Carol Jean had made her entry into the world the previous day, but when Dad tried to call me, I was out on babysitting duty & didn't get the message. I wanted so badly to be there in that hospital about 150 miles away!

Of course it all worked out, I went home on weekends as often as I could bum a ride, I spent all of the time there I could, and I was kept in the circle of the family. And the summer before my Senior year, my Dad transferred to Kansas City and the family moved just a few blocks away from my dear old school. I was able to live at home and enjoy my home life once again. I was a Senior and had a two year old baby sister!

Carol was not quite three when we got married and was the flower girl in our wedding. She loved to come visit us on Saturdays and always wanted us to come home with her when we made it to church on Sundays. I'm sure as she grew up it seemed strange to her to have a brother & sister so much older than herself.

Carol was nine years old when Karen was born. Since we had moved to Indiana, she eventually came & spent a week or two with us each summer. Then when our kids were old enough, they would go to Kansas each summer to enjoy family time with Grandma & Grandpa Brown, & of course, Aunt Carol!

Ready to ride the "Maid of the Mist"

at Niagara Falls

It was later in life when Carol & I really became "sisters". We always loved each other but I think I was more like an aunt to her during those first years. Over the years we have become best of friends and I really do mean it when I say, I don't know what I would do without her.

Garry & Carol on their first visit

to Indiana as newlyweds!

God makes no mistakes. And Carol, being born when Mom was 39 years old & Dad was 40, was no mistake. Yes, a surprise to us all...but not a "mistake".

Carol with her babies...

Kelcie, Jacob & Kylie

God could see that we would need a "Carol" in our lives on down our road.

After our family moved to Overland Park, I began dating Bob & in just a few short months we married. So I only lived in the house on 77th Terrace for 1 year. And Steve was at home--then he moved out--then he moved back--etc., etc. Steve & I didn't stick around very long. Dad's job would take him out of town frequently during the week, and Carol was just what Mom keep her company & to keep her busy.

Mom & her little shadow!

Later the time came when Bob & I would move to Indiana, over 500 miles away. Steve moved to Colorado & eventually to California. But Carol stayed in Kansas. She was there to share the good years after Dad's retirement. And then she was there for the bad times, to help Mom & Dad when sickness came their way. And she was always there for me. I couldn't even begin to imagine how many hours we have spent on the phone over the last seven years.

Today is Carol's birthday! Sometimes it is hard for me to imagine that she is a grown up lady with grown up children of her own. Somewhere in the back of my mind, she will always be my baby sister.

Happy Birthday, Carol Jean!!! May you have a beautiful day with your family. Wish I was there to share a piece of cake. Angel food???

Way back in 1964, the Heavenly Father could see down our long and winding road that we were going to need a Carol in our lives....and I'm so, so glad He sent you our way. We love you so much!!!

Love, Big Sis!!!


Angie Davis said...

Happy Birthday, Carol! I love it that your family is so close.

Karen Walden said...

Hope you are having a great birthday Aunt Carol! We are thinking of you today!

Lady J said...

We have a cabooe in our family too who is 13 years younger than her next sibling. We wouldn't trade Christa for anything! Happy birthday Carol. It was good to see you in church a few weeks ago.

Carol said...

Thanks for the sweet birthday post, Sis! (even though some of the pictures are more than embarrassing! Gene has nothing on me!) ; )
Absolutely true about us becoming MUCH closer during the past several years. We have definitely become the BEST of friends! I am SO blessed to have been placed in this family...caboose or not!
Love you bunches!

Sheila said...

Hope you had a wonderful day, Carol!!! Just too bad you didn't get to ride the birthday saddle at Texas Roadhouse. :) !!! Happy Birthday!---your card is in the mail...

Anonymous said...