Ode to Billie Jo
Being at a loss of what to give my older sister for her fiftieth birthday, I thought that a tribute would suffice.
"Ode to Billie Jo" (I know, it sounds like a movie...)
The years have found us not as close as we once were. We have traveled our own paths instead of my trekking at your heels as I did for many years. We must have put on hundreds of miles on that old red station wagon traveling to destinations unknown. You introduced me to some very good friends and some that I would much rather forget, but to this day I am thankful for you including me when most older sisters would rather not, for protecting me from what could have been a traumatic Freshman Initiation and for allowing me to wear your "cool" clothes...were you aware of that?
There were times though that I was jealous of you. Your hair has always been thicker, you had many more friends than I did; hence me stealing a few. I always got the smaller room when we were finally able to have our own rooms and when we didn't I had the smaller space. You got a guitar and all I got was an autoharp. You had a larger graduation party, you always seemed to get away with a lot more than I did. But now that we are adults the jealousy has subsided, except for that guitar thing anyway.
We were for years inseparable, even though as young adults we lived merely a few miles from each other we would talk for hours on a daily basis... those days are since past, as are the days of spending holidays together.
Watching "The Wizard of Oz" was a yearly ritual (I don't miss that) as well as shopping for school clothes. We have throughout the years formed a bond that not even time and distance can dissolve; even with the lack of communication we have sustained that closeness merely because sisters are forever friends.
I won't buy you the black balloons, the "Over the Hill" paraphernalia, or make fun of the fact that you are now half a century old. I won't even tell anyone that your given middle name was Lucille and that everyone called you "Billie Lou" - that stays within our family; oh, and seven or so thousand readers... I will tell you that I wish only the best for the years that you have left, and that you will always be older than I!
Happy birthday, God Bless and I love you!
* Reach Trudy Schroeder at firstname.lastname@example.org