Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I will always remember the day my only sister, Janice, was born. It was July 23rd and one of the happiest days of my life. I was in high school and had only one sibling, a brother, Howard (now deceased). Janice was a surprise to all of us, having come late in life to our mother and father. It was considered late in life then to have a baby at the age of 37, the age my mother was when she gave birth to Janice. Nowadays a lot of professional women wait until that age or older to have their first baby. Howard and I didn't know what to think about our mother's pregnancy. I am sure he didn't tell any of his classmates, but I could hardly wait for summer to be over so I could show pictures of my baby sister to all my friends at school. I remember I carried her around like a doll, but she was cuter and smelled better than a doll and so much fun to watch her from day-to-day. Mother made her matching dresses and bonnets and she was adorable in them. I can't remember her ever crying because one of us was always holding her. She brought so much fun into our home.
When she was three, we moved to a new housing addition and the neighbors assumed she was my brother's and my baby, not having yet met my mother and father. Soon after we moved to the new house, I married and moved away to another state for a short period of time. My parents moved to Edmond after my marriage and Janice attended the public schools there (pictures of her during the school years). Janice and I have remained close. Now that our mother is deceased, I am almost like her mother, and from time-to-time, people have assumed just that. She calls to wish me a Happy Mother's Day each year.

Janice has her own family now, having married the love of her life, Stan, 35 years ago. He is my favorite brother-in-law, at least my favorite one living in Texas. Together they have raised a daughter, Sara, and now Sara is the mother of two darling daughters, Britt and Steff. Janice and Stan are wonderful grandparents. They include their grandchildren in everything they do, like cruises and trips to Hawaii. Sara, her husband, Steve, and the two girls lived across the street from Janice and Stan until a few months ago, when they relocated from Texas to Oklahoma. Janice and Stan kept Steff in Texas during the school year. Oklahoma does not have full day kindergartens and no one would have been home to care for Steff after school while Sara and Steve worked. This is the kind of grandmother Janice (Dojo) is, her grandchild's well-being to her own comfort and relaxation. Janice is a mother to several pets also, including cat, dogs, and several doves.

I am not going to divulge the year Janice was born. You never tell a woman's age!!!! And, if I give the year, you would also know my age, so the year is to remain unknown. I will give the prices of what a few things cost the year she was born. The price of gasoline was 26 cents/gal, bread was 14 cents/loaf, milk was 86 cents/gal, postage stamp was 3 cents, minimum wage was 40 cents/hour, and the price of a new car was $1,550.

I don't think I have ever told Janice how proud I am of her. She has undergone some life-altering changes with her weight reduction surgeries and it hasn't been easy for her. She is now a beautiful, slim, and creative individual. No one in our family can come close to being as good a cook as Janice. Her family is lucky to have homemade dinners when the rest of us are bringing home carry outs from the fast food restaurants. Her gourmet cooking is the hit of every family gathering.

Janice, I want to wish you a Happy Birthday on this July 23rd, and I want to tell you how proud I am to be your big sister. Yes, I remember the day that you were born. It doesn't seem like it was so long ago. I love you!!!


Judy said...

Happy Birthday to Janice. I am sure she is a wonderful sister and so pretty! I have an older sister that is 13 years older than me and she has been like a mother to me all my life. We are very close, talk regularly on the phone, and visit. She says she felt like she raised me because she always babysat for me when I was very young. I am sure Janice is a wonderful mother and grandmother and I loved the pictures.

KHC said...

Happy Birthday, Aunt Janice!

Kelly said...

Happy Birthday Aunt Janice! I hope you are having a wonderful birthday!!!

Enjoy and give those adorable kiddo's a big hug from us!!