May 21st is an important day in our family. When I was 4 1/2 years old, it was the day I became a big sister. On that day in 1977, I didn’t yet realize what that meant. It meant I got Donnie and Marie Osmond dolls as a gift and that was pretty neat, but it was a few more days before I started to comprehend that there were now 2 babies at my house and they were there to stay. Over the coming years the responsibility of being a big sister became something I both loved and hated at times. But through it all, I always loved those 2 babies that came unexpectedly as a package deal on May 21st. So the first anniversary we celebrate on this day is the gift of Pam and Angie, who today turn 40 years old. I’m so proud to be their “big” sister (even though they grew past me years ago) and I’m glad to have them to celebrate today.
15 years after I became a big sister, I met a guy. Well, I’d met lots of guys before him, but I met a particular guy in May of 1992. He was funny, good looking, and OLDER – with a really cool truck. And he liked photography and sports, two things I liked a lot too. When I met him at a grimy, noisy dirt race track back then, I didn’t think much of it other than it would be fun to spend my summer break flirting with him before I went back to Nashville for my sophomore year of college. I never imagined that by the end of the summer he would be proclaiming his love a few days before I packed up to go back down South. Even more unbelievable was the idea that on May 21, 1994, I would marry that goofy guy – but I did. So twenty-three years ago we added another anniversary to this day, and through many ups and downs and curves we never expected, we’ve built a life together over these years.
It wasn’t until I was looking at my Facebook memories today that I realized May 21 has yet another anniversary for me. It was on May 21, 2011 that K and I first stepped foot in the lowcountry for the first time. We were visiting before K made his decision about where to apply for grad school. My comment on Facebook was “the lowcountry is beautiful. I’m fascinated by the trees and the window glass.” We were in Beaufort, SC at the time, on our way to Savannah. I again had no idea that this day would mark another big transition in my life. A little over a year later we moved to Savannah where we would spend the next 4 years making facing new challenges, making friends and having fun. Then in August of last year we moved again, this time bringing us to the heart of the lowcountry I fell in love with on this day a few years before. So today also marks that anniversary.
Now let me say, none of these transitions was easy for me. I don’t adapt to change easily (that may be the biggest understatement ever.) But in hindsight, all of these dates mark important times in my life. All of them have lead to things I never could have imagined feeling and experiencing. My sisters have become 2 of the most important people in my life, and every day I am so proud of them for their strength, compassion, beauty and love. I can’t imagine not being P & A’s big sister. And for being K’s wife, well, that’s been one adventure after another. Nothing we have done has been done conventionally. But today we mark 23 years of travelling our own path our own way. We have fashioned a good life together, chased dreams, and picked each other up many times along the way. We have an amazing little family with the Wildman, and now we are living it here in the beautiful scenery of South Carolina. This place feels like home more and more every day.
So today I celebrate all these anniversaries, and I’m truly thankful for every single one.