Today is my sister's birthday. Happy birthday, Elena! A birthday is a good occasion to take a look back. I remember one time Elena and I had gotten to the age Mom and Dad thought we were old enough to be at home by ourselves. They may have miscalculated. :-) As soon as they left, we got to chasing each other through the house. At some point, I slammed the door to cut off Elena's hot pursuit, and caught her finger against the jamb. She immediately began howling at the top of her lungs, screaming that her finger was broken, that I was mean, that she was going to tell on me. I went into a panic. What was I supposed to do? I had just squashed my sister's finger, and boy was I going to get it when Mom and Dad got home. I thought for a minute and then realized I had the answer. What did Mom do when we had an owie? She stayed calm and broke out the Band-Aids. Of course! A Band-Aid is the answer to any known medical crisis! I ran to the kitchen, got the box of them out of the drawer, unwrapped it and took it to Elena. By this time she was lying on the sofa, still screaming, holding her hand up (no visible damage, but hey, you never can tell about this kind of thing), and proclaiming she was going to die any minute. I told her to let me put the Band-Aid on her finger. To my utter astonishment, she refused! Here was medical treatment, and all she said was, "No, no, no!" My panic level rose even higher. What was I going to do? She had to see reason. Mom and Dad walked in the door to witness me sitting on top of Elena, waving the Band-Aid with one hand, and with my other hand slapping her on the cheek to bring her to her senses. Needless to say, that was the last time, for a very long time, that Mom an Dad let us stay home by ourselves!
Then there was the time we were running through the house, and we broke one of Mom's vases. It was a tall plaster one that stood in the corner and had a lot of peacock feathers stuck in it. We had snapped the narrow neck clean off. We gave each other a look of dread. But Elena's quick thinking saved the day. She got a roll of masking tape and we quickly got everything back in shape and lashed together with several wrappings of tape. For several days after we were on our best behavior, practically tiptoeing around the house, but Mom never noticed a thing. It was only several months later that Mom happened to look at the vase and exclaimed, "What in the world!" But by then, it was way too late to be punished. "Mom, that happened a long time ago!" we exclaimed. So we escaped, and I have Elena to thank.
It's been many years, with lots of long talks, lots of hearing each other's ups and downs, and not nearly enough of actually being able to be in each other's presence, but I truly count myself fortunate to have such a wonderful and loving sister. You're a treasure, Elena! Happy Birthday!