It’s April 9th, my sister’s birthday. In what has become an annual tradition–for now anyway–I’m re-posting this edited version.
Five years ago, in 2014, I was out of town at the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop and missed being here for her birthday. So I put together something special to make up for being away, because we always celebrated our birthdays together.
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.
I wish I still had that pompom skirt!
California girls in our sundresses.
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.
In New York, we took dance classes and wore hats.
Back in California, where the hedges still needed pruning, we took tap and ballet lessons. She went further in ballet, and took up tap again several years ago. (2019 update: I am temporarily on the disabled list for tap class, but I’ll be back! I’ve loved dancing with her teacher and the wonderful “girls” in the class.)
With our Grampa Mike
We wore hats in California too
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.
These were perhaps the coolest dresses we ever had. Her hair looks perfect here! No more glasses, either.
She goes off to college, but not too far away from home.
And her hair keeps getting longer! Did I say I wasn’t going to just focus on hair this time? Can’t help it.
Fast forward: a niece to play with!
Celebrating her birthday, a few
decades years ago.
Skipping ahead to 1980…Welcoming a new baby boy.
A post chicken pox picture: Goofing around with the kids.
We went on a couple of “sisters only” adventures–and this time we ended up in hot water.
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!
Helping cut the cake at our 25th anniversary party
At Caitlin and Christian’s wedding June, 2001
Several years later, my son Myles got married.
Another wedding! James was the groom this time.
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.
Sadly, Susie was not here to welcome the newest members of the family: Asher in 2017 and Violet Grace in 2018.
And here she is, on another birthday, many years ago…An April birthday means you get a bunny cake. Two bunnies, in fact.
Susie, you are always in my heart and on my mind. Miss you every day.
Wonderful memories. Beautifully chronicled, Lovingly assembled as only a sister can do.
Thank you for stopping by, Harriette!
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, thanks so much! And thanks for reading.
Hi Risa, How lovely, both the sentiments and the photos! It’s wonderful to know 2 sisters who are such good friends. Best, Janet
Thanks so much! It was fun to put this together as a surprise for her!
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.
What fabulously rich memories you share with your sister. You are truly blessed!
Thanks so much, Jennifer!
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.
Have fun with it, Kathy! I’m sure she’ll love it.
Loved your photos and loving memories of growing up together. You have a wonderful relationship.
Risa, love all the pictures…but that last one…oh, it’s spectacular. Happy Birthday to both of you!
Thanks so much, Kim. It is my absolute favorite. And thanks for the birthday wishes too!
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…
Cathy, you did? That is so funny. Thanks for stopping by.
You are both adorable and lucky to have each other!!
What a lovely effort you made for your sister!
Frances, thanks so much. And thanks for stopping by!
What a lovely tribute to your sister. I grew up with 4 brothers and always wanted to have a sister.
Thanks, Rena! Of course, I always wanted a brother!
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.
Thanks for stopping by. Yes, scars are inevitable, I’m afraid!
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
This means so much to me, Marcia. Thank you. xoxoxox
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.
Sandy, thank you for your comments. The relationship between sisters is like no other. Nice to hear from you!
Got a little teary-eyed over this one. The passage of time is so poignant. Your sister looked like a beautiful person. So sorry for your loss.
Thank you, Laurie. She was indeed.
Tears here! Love this!
Thank you so much.
Such a beautiful remembrance! Made me tear up a little, thinking of how important my sisters are to me. Terrible to lose her at such a young age, although of course it would be hard at any age.
You are lucky to have such a wonderful collection of pictures! I especially love the hamantaschen costumes.
Thank you so much, Suzy. I am grateful to have the pictures, for sure.
Oh Risa you made me cry with such a sweet and loving testimonial to your big sister! I love that picture of the 2 of you on the bottom and the hamantashen costume is priceless. That is some craftsmanship in sewing! My older sister just turned 70 on the 8th. I will celebrate in person with her tomorrow and feel blessed that I still can and I am so sorry for your loss. My heart aches for you.
Yes, it’s so important to spend those special occasions together for as long as you can. Thank you so much, and next time you see her, give her a hug from me!
So very special… I loved every photograph and notation you made. Somewhere I hope she’s loving it as well. Brenda
I hope so too. Thanks so much.
What a beautiful tribute. Love the photographs. Sending you hugs.
Thank you, Lynne.
What a lovely tribute to your sister. I’m writing out my sisters 51st birthday card today, and thinking about all the lovely photos I have of the two of us.
She always had better hair than me.
Hi Wendy. Thanks for your comment. The part about hair made me laugh!