Same job, different uniform.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My little wall flower:: happy birthday!

I won't indulge in my memories about harassing the shy little girl born four years after my mother welcomed this holy terror into the world. All these years later, it's still painful for me to remember that I didn't appreciate, couldn't understand and consequently troubled my younger sister.

Now I know better.

It turns out she knew she was a bit of a wall flower. She used that very word in a song she wrote and sang for her husband at her wedding reception.

Wall flower. This modest bit of finery that makes a drab little room livable is the name we have given to the quieter, more withdrawn people in our acquaintance. There was a time when papering your walls with flowers was a sign of luxury. Bare walls meant hard times and hard living.

Now we know "wall flower" to mean the quiet, the shy, the overlooked. So this is how my sister felt? It grieves me.

Instead of today's wall flower, I see yesterday's wall flower. Joy is a soul that gives energy and beauty to my little life. I can't imagine my heart without her finery. When I have splashed my bitter little walls with black and grey, she colors over them with soft shades of yellow and blue.

In the most unexpected, unobtrusive ways, she even manages to peel away what was there, leaving a fragrant trail of daisy assurances.

Damn those unhappy younger days! God has turned them into an ash heap and presented me instead with a bouquet, "a thing of beauty that is a joy forever."

A trusted confidant. A constant spring of comfort. A best friend.

My darling wall flower Joyous--I celebrate the day you were born!

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Blogger elphaba said...

What a lovely tribute! Ode to the wallflower! Beautifully written about a beautiful person.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Blogger Lois E. Lane said...

Oh my. I don't even know what to say. Thank you, dear Kate. That's one of the best things I've ever read, and I can't believe it's about me. Some day I will convince you that the memory of your treatment of me is far worse than the reality. I have *always* been glad to have you as a sister -- and now more than ever. I love you!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Blogger "Molly McGee" said...

This is beautiful. On the other end of the spectrum, I was driving her crazy as the little sister who wanted to dress like her twin and never wanted to leave her alone with her friends.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Anonymous girlfriday said...

Ha, ha. Well that may be true. I was always a little envious of your late-night whisperings.

But I did have my own room...

Monday, February 22, 2010


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