It has been a little over a week since I enjoyed high tea in Tucson with my sisters and my cousin Lynette who I had not seen in many years. It was a delightful day with these very accomplished, very strong women who I admire. Although they may appear to be typical middle aged women posing by a Palo Verde tree, my sisters are far from typical.
My youngest sister Diane is a happily married mother of three and successful medical transcriptionist who employs her college-age daughter. She also home-schools two teenager daughters and in spite of chronic, near-debilitating back pain, Diane keeps a good attitude, finds time to volunteer at church, work in the home-school association, run her girls to piano lessons and extracurricular activities, and maintain her musical abilities. By the way, when she “runs to town,” her average round trip is 90 miles.
My mom Rexine raised six children while working full time as a nurse, yet she cooked hot meals for us twice a day, stayed involved in church, taught her daughters to be strong women, and succeeded at nearly everything she tried. She nursed my dad for eleven years after his stroke and survived breast cancer. Mom still plays guitar and sings like an angel at age 74, is an accomplished seamstress and quilter, and loves to teach the Bible.
My cousin Lynette is a very independent thinker and incredibly fun person. She works in a nursing home and considers her patients VIP’s, treating them with dignity and respect. Lynette is a few years older than me and was someone I admired in my early years - mostly because she shared her Barbie’s with us even though we were her rowdy, younger cousins. Lynette manages to see the good in others and brings a candid outlook and refreshing sense of humor to just about every circumstance.
Sheryl, my oldest sister, is an amazing person who has the energy and drive of three people. She never stops. Her accomplishments go on forever, and as the “Alpha wolf,” she has graciously put up with all of us depending on her too much. She is an executive programmer for a large utility in Washington and now works from home in Tucson. For fun, she works at a quilt shop, having become a master quilter. Sheryl is the mother of three and grandmother of five (soon to be six) and she is one cool grandma! She is very thoughtful, and thinks of the little details that make life easier for her mom and mother-in-law. If you could earn tickets to Heaven, Sheryl could get us all in for free.
Sheila, my sister in law, is like a sister to us. She has loved and served our parents as if they were her own. Sheila is one of the most accepting people I know, and to be with her is to be in a “judgment free” zone. She is a calming influence and capable manager of people and is a key part of the successful business she runs with my brother Duane.
Kathryn, aka Katie, is a laugh a minute and keeps everyone in good spirits. She is not only the “party waiting to happen,” but she is a natural leader and runs a segment of the 9-1-1 emergency system for the greater Tucson area. She can boil a situation down instantly and give you the bottom line with confidence and wry humor. Never short on friends, Kathryn has always been popular because of her humor, fun personality, and her raw honesty.
Each time I travel to be with my sisters, I come away with more than I take to them. They are not just family, they are my girlfriends who I trust and love dearly. I wish you could meet them.