Wednesday, 1 January 2014
Our New Year's Girl
My big, little sister was the New Year's baby in the small Manitoba town where we were born. She narrowly edged out some other wee soul who sadly didn't benefit from the limited baby treats that were awarded to the chosen one - courtesy of the town of Pine Falls. With her big blue eyes, cherry lips, fair skin and dark curls, she was the poster child for cute - the kind of pretty that should have landed her in ad campaigns where cute babies are necessary. She was a driven child, highly organized and clear in her expectations of how things should be. To some degree, her efforts to organize the rest of us into some semblance of family life - to varying degrees of success - has been a life-long pursuit...and one she has carried on in the context of the family she built - the childhood sweetheart that miraculously and against the odds she remains happily married to - the two fine sons she raised joyfully and exemplify her incredible loyalty, the depth of kindness of her heart. She has been my protector - my legs when I could not walk - my eyes, when I could not see. She would do anything at any time to make the way more comfortable for me and everyone else she loves - ever following the girl guild principle of putting others before herself. There is no "no" in Karen - driven as she is to care for all of us - to the point of exhaustion - to the point of denying herself anything to satisfy anyone else's need at the time. She has extended this energy, this passion, to her students and colleagues in her professional life - inspiring the kind of love, respect and admiration that one might dream about. In short, for a little person in stature, she is kind of a big deal (!) and given me more in my life-time than I could possibly reciprocate. To my angel, my protector, my blue-eyed girl, Happy Birthday my sweet forever Karen.