I grew up in the shadow of an uber-overachieving sister. So many of my aspirations were wanting do to what she did - to be just like her. She was always top in her class; ridiculously smart, studious, articulate and talented. She was also an Irish beauty. Her thick dark hair was contrasted by brilliant blue eyes, and a classic face one would think should inspire fine art. She still is beautiful.
She was a dancer, a singer, and actor, and independent of any need to be validated by anyone. She was the lead in her high school musicals, prom queen, and class valedictorian.
She graduated with four degrees in four years from her college; math, finance, economics and French. She got her masters in economics IN France.
She was the first to leave home, the first to marry, the first to produce a grandchild.
She is a wine expert, and a foodie. She's a whiskey enthusiast.
She's now the marketing director for a successful architectural firm in Minneapolis. She soaks in all of the the theatre and music the city's fine arts institutions have to offer.
She serves on her church council. She teaches Sunday School. She is an active alumni.
In her spare time now, she's immersed in learning Irish. Since her daughter is now grown, she accompanies our mother on various trips around the country and Europe. Mom is digging into genealogy and our ancestral diaspora. She is visiting with distant (both in blood and miles) cousins while my sister practices her Irish in Gaeltachts. She also accompanies mom to their annual excursion to an outdoor Shakespeare festival in Spring Green, Wisconsin.
She is ferociously dedicated to her family. She even made a trip out to the Lehigh Valley to support me in an intensive arts integration project. That same trip we went to New York City to watch a play together and to find a specialized clothing store. We chatted with spotted celebrities on the street. She paid for all the fun. She became my fairy godmother that day.
She is the second call of my mother's weekend roundup (after mom checks in on her sister). My sister is the keeper of family information; names of all the aunts and uncles, and stories of early family years.
My sister keeps me grounded. She is still the person to whom I call in need of a sympathetic ear that I know will not judge, nor dictate any "shoulds" about my problems. She tells me that I am good.
My daughter has her sparkling blue eyes.
I upset her when I called her, "the family matriarch in training." If she only knew the place of honor that is.
#33 of 90in90 for #LUBlogTribe