As a little girl growing up with two brothers was not so bad, but on every birthday, on every falling star, anytime I had a wish coming my way, I wished for a sister (or a monkey which I thought would be close). Much to my parent’s surprise, I got one when I was twelve and a half years old. Although I love my sister, for a long time she was just little and not the sister I could share clothes and secrets with. Now that she is a grown woman, we have that sister relationship and I love her even more.
When my brothers got married, I can remember thinking, “Cool! Instant sisters!” Well, one sister-in-law did not turn out so great, but the other one was perfect. Debbie married my little brother and has been in our family for over twenty years now. Mom often says, we may get rid of Pete, but we will keep Debbie. She has been a good wife when she should probably have killed Pete long ago. He is the biggest pest in all the world – something that Mom said he would out grow, but he didn’t. Debbie has been a great mother to her three boys. All three are pretty wonderful – and handsome too. She has been a good sister-in-law taking time with our family, meeting needs and putting up with us Barkers. She has been a good friend. Although we do not “run together” often, I know that we could. We are very different and yet, much the same. I have a lot of respect for Debbie. Debbie is the baby and only daughter of older parents. She has two brothers much older than she. This would make you think she would be spoiled, but she has been only a blessing to her parents. Debbie took care of her mother, who had serious arthritis, until she died several years ago. She has taken care of her father as he moved into Alzheimer’s until he died a few days ago. Debbie can lay her dad to rest knowing that she did everything possible to make his life easier. I know how Debbie feels today, and I know how she will feel in the future - because I was a Daddy's girl too.
Today, Toby and I are attending Debbie’s father’s funeral. Ray T was a good man – a humble man. He was a wonderful grandfather to my nephews. He was often at our family gatherings - he was a part of our family. Thanks, Ray T, for being such a man, but mostly, thanks for raising such a wonderful daughter.