My sister, D, never reads my blog unless I take her by the hand to my computer and load up a specific entry for her to see/read because she just doesn't have much time for blogging. Or reading.
D is a single mother to four(!) beautiful girls. So they keep her pretty busy all the time, when she's not working, running errands or hanging out with a friend once and awhile. I do understand why someone in her shoes doesn't get the chance to read my blog.
My point is, I don't even know if she'll ever see this post. So I'm blogging about her and how she's inspired me with her courage for my benefit and so that maybe my readers can also be inspired by this lady I've known most of my life as my baby sister.
D is turning 34 today, though she barely looks a day over 27. She had really good genes in that sense. I got the eczema and the bad ankles ... she got the youthful looks and natural beauty. No one ever said life is fair.
Anyway, a lot has happened in D's life over the past decade (especially) and though I won't go into it all here, believe me when I tell you that had I endured the trials she has had to endure, I'd look 44 at 34 and 27 would have been a laughable and distant memory.
The short story is that through grief and loss, I've seen D's faith really blossom. It has sustained her, but it's like the trials have cemented her faith more firmly. Her faith has been sustained through the growth achieved as a result of her grief and losses.
I feel like I'm dancing around the main point of why I admire her courage, so basically, she has lost a child, she has lost a marriage, she has lost everything she knew and found comfort in (besides her faith in Christ) and moved from California to New Mexico last year to be closer to us here, to experience a change of environment and some new opportunities to better be able to support her daughters.
That's a lot of change for anyone.
But somehow, D has managed to do these things with abundant grace and strength.
I struggle to raise our five children and I have my husband's constant help and partnership. I cannot imagine the challenge raising four on her own must be.
Actually, I can. We have tried to help, but when it comes down to it, those are her girls and it is up to her to do the raising and the rearing. I see her on her best days and on her more challenging days. And she gets up every morning (sometimes several times in the night, too) and keeps on going for those girls. She is an incredible mama, too. Her girls are so great. She amazes me.
D is raising kids at every general stage ... teen, pre-teen, child and toddler. Crazy.
She's doing it in a state that is new to her, where she doesn't know tons of people who can support her. She is doing it on a very limited budget, no less.
D inspires me because through every hardship, she has shown herself to be extremely capable and hopeful. She usually wears a smile and no matter how tired she is, she is extremely energetic. Her energy motivates those who surround her -- it motivates me.
Anyway, speaking of energy (and lack of it), I am pretty tired as I write this post. We took her children for the evening so she could do something fun for her birthday with a friend. We went to pizza, we took all nine kids to the park and we got Frosties at Wendy's. Exhausting. So sadly, I don't feel like this post really does her justice.
Trust me that she's cool and she's inspiring. I love her so much! I am so glad that I get to spend a few minutes or a few hours with her just about every single day. We live seven minutes apart and it's awesome to have her as one of my best friends even in adulthood. I hope our kids will be so lucky to have such a relationship with their siblings as they grow.
Happy Birthday, D.