I am grateful for my siblings. This is one of the last pictures taken of all five of us. It was taken at my sister's 50th anniversary celebration and she and my brother are trying to sneak bunny ears into the picture. We always laugh when we are together. I have so many reasons to be grateful to them all.
Ruby (with the corsage) is the oldest and has in many ways been like a second mother to me. I was 22 when my mother died and Ruby was the one I would ask the kind of things you would ask your Mom when you are first married and when you become a parent. I remember the first time I hosted a holiday for the family, she showed up early to make sure I had things under control. I told my husband that the rest of the siblings probably urged her to do that just to make sure "the baby" hadn't taken on more than she could handle.
Millie (with the big smile between me and Ruby) is the second child. I think she is the most like my Dad and I adore her like I adored my Dad. She is very quiet but very funny. She has a great perspective on life and I have learned so much from her. She probably has more common sense than anyone else I know.
Raymond (in the back) is the oldest boy and has always looked out for all of us. I owe him and his family a huge amount. My parents moved when I was ready to start high school. After I started school, we discovered the school system was not the best and was behind the one we had moved from. My brother and sister-in-law let me stay with them to go to a better school and I will forever be grateful.
Melvin (in the front) was the only sibling that was still at home when I was born. He was twelve years older than me and I have such wonderful memories of my big brother. Today would have been his birthday. He passed away last September and I miss him everyday. I really miss him today.
The last week of February was always a busy one when I was growing up. My parents' anniversary was the 24th; Melvin's birthday the 25th; mine the 26th and my mother's the 27th. I am the only one left and it feels very lonely today.