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Dear Rebekah,

Sometimes I balk at the fact that my blog is public...but not today...because today is your birthday, and I want people to know who you are.  I want to brag on you in public the way you have always done with me.

You are the oldest of us three girls...and as your baby sister, I've watched you with my eyes wide open.  I've blogged about how we grew up playing persecuted Christians, how our legos weren't just homes, they were motorhomes with multi-levels.  If we put on performances for guests, they weren't just song and dance...no, we would stuff our pj's and put on scarves and hats because song and dance is just so much more awesome when performed by three little half-asian girls portraying "chubby mom and her boys".  Why be sad that our basement was unfinished and we had a two-cassette stereo box and a tape of accordion music? That's only the perfect props for creating a Swiss Alps Roller-skating rink/bar.  Playing "dolls" seemed boring...but not when we could sit on our futons, throw our dolls "out to see", and now we're baby rescuers on floating rafts.  Why give them a bottle, when we could be saving their lives?

These were ALL your imaginations that Heidi and I joined in on and followed you.

Growing up with you was so much fun.

You've never made the 'easy' choice out of convenience.  I've seen you battle through tough decisions and at a very young age, you were making lifelong choices and habits because your perspective was longterm.  You lived a profound life far beyond your age.

I was always scared to sleep in my own room...and you'd let me sleep in yours.  I may have gotten smacked for being a snuggler and crossing over the imaginary-line drawn down the middle a time or two, and may have had to pay you in back-scratches...ha!! But I remember I'd ask you who you liked and I'd ask for all the details of the look he gave or what he said...and you'd tell me about them...cautiously at first, but then we'd sigh and think of this boy that could maybe like you back (...and you eventually married)! I always felt honored that you'd tell me your secrets.

A lot of people don't know this because you'd never brag, so I make it my job to tell people that you were a cello performance major at one of the leading schools in music performance.  You are a very good cellist, and I'd go to your symphony concerts or your recitals, and I'd watch you because I was bursting at the seams with pride.  You were so cool...still are.

It's sad when this is one of my most recent pictures of you (we need to take more!)...although, I DO love this image of you. :)

You are now the mother of 5 children...a wife.  You live those rolls well and give me courage by example.  I see the creativity you had in your kids, I see how much Matt adores you, and I want you to know that you love well.

I sit on your barstool and watch you cook as I talk NON-STOP...and you listen like you're very interested.  I know I have to bore you so much 'cause when my mouth is getting dry 'cause I can't stop talking...I know I don't have that many interesting things to say! ;)  You still let me ask you questions...you still tell me your secrets...and I'm still honored every time that you do.

Someone asked me recently, "Who in your life is someone that doesn't give up?"  I thought of you.  That's an admirable quality, Bek.  If there's anyone that knows you, it's Matt, Heidi, and me...and as someone who has watched you my entire life, I can say, you don't give up.  You're not perfect...I'd be highly annoyed if you were ;)...you struggle, you fall...but you are open about those...and it would do us all good to be more like you in that you just keep pushing.  You don't give up.

Personally, towards me...I know you worry for me.  You shake your head at me because I fulfill the youngest child roll of irresponsible carefree, irresponsible having fun, irresponsible always up for a good time a little too well. :)  But you've always believed in me and pointed out strengths I can't see in myself.  You brag on me in public, you check in, and you've always given me a place to come home to.

So as it's your birthday today, I love that you are my big sister.  I could write a book on you...but since I imagine you're already blushing at this blog post, I'll just say that I adore you.  I respect you.  I hope that if you're ever doubting the beautiful person that you are, you can come back and read this letter over and over because there was not one point, not one word, that I hesitated in writing.  You are truly one of the most beautiful people I know.

So from your baby sister, know this...you are loved.


Rebekah said...

Tam, I don't deserve such a wonderful post...but thank you so much. We are so lucky to have such great memories together. I think sometimes you see me with rose-colored glasses...but thank you for always seeing the good in me and making me want to be even better in whatever role I'm called to. Love you so much!

Pam said...

Agree totally! Happy Birthday, Rebekah!

Sarah said...

beautiful post about a beautiful person (inside and out)

Sandra said...

Happy birthday bek!! Beautifully written tami. Sisters truly are the best

Rachel Miller said...

This is so sweet. Happy Birthday, Rebekah. I can't believe how much the stories of your childhood are like my three girls!

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