D is for Denise

This post is part of the A to Z Challenge. You can find out more about the challenge here.


Through a stroke of good fortune, the day for the letter D falls on my sister Denise’s birthday!
So, in honour of my middlest sister’s big day, I am going to write a bit about ways that I would like to be more like Denise.
1) Adventure: Denise is one of those people who greets new experiences with enthusiasm. She is ready to try the new dance, take the different path, check out the new band. I tend to face new experiences with apprehension, but Denise embraces them, gets inside them, and figures out how she can enjoy them the most. I would love to have a touch more of that in my life.

2) Both feet in: When Denise does something she goes all in. When she dances, every molecule of her body is involved. When she sings, she pours herself into the music. When she runs, jumps, skips, or hops, she does them with gusto. When she loves something, she loves it fully and completely.
I do those things sometimes, but overall, I am more of a cautious person, I tread lightly at the beginning. And sure, there can be advantages to that, but I would love to know what it feels like to just jump right in.

3) Get out: Denise has real affinity for being in nature and being outside. She feels drawn to being outside and to go for hikes and to just enjoy the fresh air. I like all of those things I just don’t feel drawn to them – I don’t HAVE to get outdoors the way she does. I mean, I like it when I’m out there but the transition going from inside to outside sometimes seems like a lot of work and it doesn’t always seem worth the trouble. For Neece, though, it is just such a natural thing to be outside that it even doesn’t occur to her to to hesitate. She just heads on out the door when the mood strikes her. I really admire that about her.

Now, I am not being hard on myself here, I like the way I go about things and my methods and inclinations serve me very well. But I really, truly, admire Denise’s attitude toward these things and I would love to be able to borrow her approach when I need it.

I’m so super happy that Denise is my sister and I’m glad that the magic that she brings to the world gets sprinkled on me sometimes.

She has the most incredible ability to find fun in any situation, and I am always astounded by how much energy she brings to things. If you could see her with a group of kids, it would almost bring you to tears – she LOVES them, dearly loves, each and every one of them. She wants to teach them all about the world and she makes them excited about learning and about the part they play in the group she’s leading. The positive energy that runs through a group she is leading is almost tangible – it’s amazing.

Speaking of leading, Neece has that rare ability to be equally good at being a leader and at being a supporter – which is a tricky, tricky thing to do. She takes charge when she needs to but she can also be your right hand when you are the boss and you never have to wonder if she is going to have your back.

I can’t remember when Denise was born per se but I can remember when Dad and I went to pick my baby sister and my Mom up from the hospital. Denise was a little bundle in a blanket on my Mom’s lap on the front seat (it was how things were done in 1977 – odd hey?). I can remember thinking how silly it was that she was so small – how were we going to play?

And I can remember sitting on the edge of Mom’s dresser talking to Denise while she was in her crib. I can remember reading One Fish, Two Fish to her before bed when she was 7 or 8. I had the book memorized so she could turn the pages and I could act as if I was reading from across the room. Come to think of it, that dramatic presentation of One Fish, Two Fish was probably my first experience in storytelling.

I can remember when Denise and I were teenagers and I would come home late from being out and she would be the only one up. My bedroom was in the basement and we would get to talking when I was on my way down over the stairs. We would end up sitting on the steps and talking for hours as if there would be no other chance for us to talk if we didn’t grab it right then. It was a like a secret conversation, like stepping out of time. We were so tired but neither one of us ever wanted to end the conversation.

To this day, when Denise comes my house, even for a little while, we end up in big, deep, important conversations – me sitting on the steps and her standing in the porch. I know that we should just come in and have tea or something, but that would change the nature of the conversation and something would be lost. Even if we have already been talking for hours, there is still more to say while she stands and I sit – we always find more to say, more giant problems to wrestle.

I wouldn’t change a damn thing.

Happy birthday, Neece. I’m proud of you. I love you.