Today is Patti’s birthday.  She is the baby of the family, 5 years younger than me.  She is a native Floridian, born at Winter Park hospital.  I was not enthused when Mom and Dad brought her home.  I remember looking into the car window, seeing her and going back to the neighbors to stay.  That was kind of the way it was for a long time.  I was not very kind to her when she was young.  I am probably responsible for the therapy sessions still to come!  I think she was two when I knocked her down in the bathtub and she hit her front teeth on the tub.  Before the braces, I always knew those crooked teeth were my fault.  When I had to take her to the skating rink with me, I completely ignored her.  Any abandonment issues are probably my fault too!

Patti evolved into an amazing woman.  She married Jack when she was 18 and has two boys, Matthew and Mark.  I marvel at her creativity with her children.  When Matt was little, they went to visit a tractor store and wrote a “book” about their day, pictures and all.  That has always struck me in such a beautiful way.  She was always involved in the boy’s activities and did her best to make sure their dreams came true.  I really think that their dreams became her dreams.  She is a great mom.

Her creative talents have been used at various places she has worked as motivational tools or just random acts of kindness.  Her home is beautifully and tastefully decorated and that reflects her creative talents as well.   She took an IQ test and is one point shy of a genius so we always tease her about that. 

She is very funny and has a dry sense of humor when she lets it shine through.  She is a Southern Lady and has tried to expose me to the world of grown up clothes and make up.  I try, but honestly, am so much more comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt.  We are both Bobbie Brown fans (make up not the singer)  I do have a Talbot’s card for emergencies and I think that made her proud.

Patti and Jack are conservative, which makes them easy targets for me. Once we were going to the Antique Market in Mount Dora and when they came to pick me up, I was dressed up in leopard Capri leggings and LOTS of make-up and teased hair.  (my ex thought I looked pretty hot by the way!)  They were mortified, couldn’t even hide it.  It was pretty funny.  I did tone it down in the car but it was worth the laugh I got. 

And then there was the time when Patti & I stopped at a roadside fruit stand.  They had fresh Georgia peaches.  I couldn’t wait to bite into one but Patti told me I had to wash it first.  As we were driving away, I bit into it anyway and then pretended to start choking.  Patti slammed on the brakes and panicked.  It was pretty funny to me, but not to her.

Patti has definitely been a Spiritual Leader for me.  She challenges me and makes me think in ways I have not considered.  She is quick to remind me that if it isn’t biblical, it isn’t from God and she helps me with the quotes that I get so very wrong.   The day that I separated from my ex-husband, she went to church and brought me home a communion host.   It was such a kind and loving thing she did for me.  

For some reason, people do not remember Patti’s name and they always remember mine.  Last Christmas we made arrangements to meet at a favorite gift store to shop.  I went earlier than planned so that I could buy her present.  When I was leaving I told them I’d be back in an hour and it would be a great joke if they would all say hello to me, Marilyn, when Patti & I came back.  When I returned with Patti, each employee said “Hi Marilyn” as we walked around.  Patti never said a word but I could tell she was miffed.  Christmas Eve, after she opened her present, I told her what happened.  She laughed and I think felt better.   

Patti is very shy which sometimes causes problems when she is with me since I am so loud.  I try to contain myself when we are together so I don’t embarrass her.  She is definitely a ray of sunshine in my life, I am so proud to have her as my sister.   Happy birthday Patti, I love you very much.


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