Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Birthday Wishes for a Great Aunt

I’ve been trying to come up with some creative, beautiful way to write about my Aunt Corby, who celebrates her birthday today. But everything comes up flat or corny. So I’m skipping the intro and just saying what I want to say, which is I really, really love her and I’m so happy she’s still talking to me.

See, Corby and I are only ten years apart, and when you’re 42 and 52, that doesn’t seem like much. But when you’re seven and 17, that’s a big difference. Seven year old Christy loved hanging out with 17 year old Corby. It was probably cute for a few minutes, but the hours upon hours I wanted to spend with her must have gotten annoying. And then, when I became a Christian at 13, I had a particular burden for Aunt Corby. So I sent her letters, filled with how much I wanted her to become a Christian, too. (Mix tapes loaded with Amy Grant music were also included, of course.)

Corby was a young mom with a husband, two little children and a full-time job. If I were her, I’d have trashed those letters. But she faithfully wrote me back. She was kind to me and never made me feel like the little kid I was. And she was exceedingly patient with my not-so-subtle evangelism.

Over time, the age difference evaporated and we are more friends than aunt/niece. We exchange emails and an occasional phone call. She is one of my most faithful blog readers and regularly encourages me about my writing. She came for Michael’s graduation and helped me more than I can say. We went through six dozen eggs between the egg casseroles and brownies, plus she helped me put things where they belonged right away – not a skill I’ve honed particularly well. But best of all, we had time to catch up; after not seeing each other for five years we had a lot of catching up to do.

So, happy birthday, Corby! I’m proud to call you aunt, but even happier to call you sister. I love you.

Taken at 7 am, right before she got on the plane to head back home. How did I let an entire weekend get by without having one picture of us taken?