On the occasion of my sister’s birthday

girls a


Yes, our mother made us both wear the hamantaschen costumes

It’s April 9th, my sister’s birthday. Three years ago I was out of town and missed celebrating with her. So I put together something special to make up for being away. Today I spent the afternoon with some of her good friends, and I mentioned this post. In case you missed it, here it is again: a recycled virtual birthday card:

When Susie turned 50, I did a retrospective of her many bad hairstyles over the years. She loved it! Obviously, I can’t do that again. Instead, I’m sharing some of our  history in photographs.

I went through my many piles of pictures and albums and tried to select some classics from over the years.

Many of the pictures from the early days are of the two of us, usually posed on the front lawn of the house in Richmond where we grew up. The hedges always look like they need pruning.

off the boat


Two babushkas right off the boat–with a jump rope, just in case.

girls 1


In our sundresses

girls b


Not dressed for the same party. Wish I still had that pompom skirt.

We’re two and a half years apart, so we played together pretty well most of the time.I have a few scars, however. . .

We lived in New York City for a year in the 1950s. She was in third grade and I was in first. We struggled with our new snow clothes, rode the subway, and tried many new kinds of food. I got the mumps first, and gave them to her. The measles too. It was a big year for childhood diseases.

snowbunnies


On the sidewalks of New York

Back in California, where the hedges still needed pruning, we took tap and ballet lessons. She went further in ballet, and still takes tap lessons.

ballerinas


Two in tutus

Ah, the early teens. . .Everyone has an awkward stage at this point, right? Hoo boy. But I kind of like this picture because we are now taller than the hedge and it doesn’t show in the background.

girls 2


Middle school years

These were perhaps the coolest dresses we ever had. Her hair looks perfect here! No more glasses, either.

teens


The Mod Squad

She goes off to college, but not too far away from home.

teens2

And her hair keeps getting longer! Did I say I wasn’t going to just focus on hair this time? Can’t help it.

teens3

Fast forward: a niece to play with!

little caitlin

Celebrating her birthday, a few decades years ago.

birthday

Skipping ahead  to 1980…Welcoming a new baby boy.

baby myles

A post chicken pox picture: Goofing around with the kids.

goofy


Caitlin wears a big hat; Myles looks confused.

We went on a couple of “sisters only” adventures–and this time we ended up in hot water.

spa

On June 6th, 1986, Aunt Sooz helped welcome my son James into the world. She took some pictures and got to hold the brand-new baby!

james born

At Caitlin and Christian’s wedding June, 2001

cwedding


Caitlin is wearing a different hat in this picture

We’re on a boat! With our Aunt Ruth.

w aunt ruth


Celebrating Chuck and Rockie’s anniversary with the family

Several years later, my son Myles got married.

dancing with the groom


Aunt of the groom

Another wedding! James was the groom this time.

untitled


Aunt of the groom again

As her niece and nephews start their own families, Great Aunt Sooz gets to hold the babies and play with them as they grow up.

sooz with M2


With baby Madeleine

great aunt


With baby Fenton

 And, most recently, with baby Ezra


With baby Ezra

Soooz and Sam

And most recently, with baby Sam

 

 

Susie: Wishing you a very happy birthday today! 4/9/2015

sistahs


One of my favorite pictures of us

With love from your baby sister,

R

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27 Responses to On the occasion of my sister’s birthday

  1. Harriette Louie says:

    Risa,

    Wonderful memories. Beautifully chronicled, Lovingly assembled as only a sister can do.

    Harriette

  2. Jan Brown says:

    Dear Risa,

    What a great gift to all who know Susie (and you). Keep me on your mailing list. I can hardly wait until Susie turns 70! Thanks for capturing and sharing the essence of a life well-lived and loved. Beautiful!

    Jan

  3. Janet Peterson says:

    Hi Risa, How lovely, both the sentiments and the photos! It’s wonderful to know 2 sisters who are such good friends. Best, Janet

  4. Finally got to see the hamentaschen everyone’s talking about! Wonderful tribute! (My sister’s birthday is also April 9. I did not do anything quite so wonderful.) Bad sister.

  5. Jennifer says:

    What fabulously rich memories you share with your sister. You are truly blessed!

  6. Kathy Selleck says:

    What a sweet tribute to your sister. I’m going to steal the idea for my little sister’s August birthday. It’ll be such fun taking the time (anti-“busyness” after your last post) to go through the photos and resurrect all the great memories.

  7. Karen Mayers says:

    Risa,
    Loved your photos and loving memories of growing up together. You have a wonderful relationship.

  8. Kim Tackett says:

    Risa, love all the pictures…but that last one…oh, it’s spectacular. Happy Birthday to both of you!

  9. What a lovely tribute from one beautiful sister to the other. I loved watching the two of you in these photos. And, btw, I had the same glasses. Grr…

  10. Frances Lefever says:

    You are both adorable and lucky to have each other!!
    What a lovely effort you made for your sister!
    Xoxo Frances

  11. Risa says:

    Frances, thanks so much. And thanks for stopping by!

  12. What a lovely tribute to your sister. I grew up with 4 brothers and always wanted to have a sister.

  13. Roz Warren says:

    This is wonderful! My sister and I are also 2 l/5 years apart. I’m the older one. She’s always been my best friend — but she, too, has some scars. What a great tribute to the bond sisters — if they’re lucky — can share.

  14. Risa says:

    Roz,
    Thanks for stopping by. Yes, scars are inevitable, I’m afraid!

  15. Marcia Cohen says:

    Risa, I don’t remember seeing this beautiful tribute to Sooz (though I may have, but can’t believe I would not have commented on how moved I was by the gorgeous pix of you both & Sooz with the darling babies)…anyway, it could not have been more beautiful, honey….love, Marcia

  16. Sandy Wolfe says:

    As an only child, this beautiful tribute to sisterhood really touches me. I have traveled with many sisters and have seen beautiful relationships between sisters before. This always makes me happy to see and I am thrilled that my son, Geoff and his wife, Misha, are soon to have a third daughter. I love watching my granddaughters together and hearing them refer to one another as “sissy” at the ages of almost 2 and almost 5. I look forward to watching their relationship develop as they grow older.

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