Friday, June 13, 2008

Happy Birthday, Theresa!

From left: Mom, Julie,Cathy, Theresa in front; second row Mary and John; top row Lizzie and Stephen. This photo was taken about 1970, and was pretty much all the children who were still living at home. I was married with 2 children and Judy was probably at work or at college. The older brothers (Bill, Tom and Joe) were no longer at home at this time, I believe.

Okay, I'm like 'way late, but my sister Theresa deserves a birthday post all her own.

When I moved to West Virginia, over 300 miles from most of my family, Theresa assumed the mantle of "oldest sister." Not that she was the oldest--somehow the role found her. I think it's because she is practical, no-nonsense and straight to the point. She can make decisions. She sees straight through a problem and doesn't quail at telling hard truths. She's the go-to person for this family when we need to figure things out.

But Theresa is also a gardener, one who can take hard red Virginia clay and make things grow in it--sometimes, I am convinced, through the sheer force of her will. Her gardens are works of love, featuring plants she has moved from other gardens into her own, nurturing tiny starts to become hardy plants. It was no surprise when she returned to college to get a degree in horticulture. She's good at this stuff, and now she has the degree to prove it.

I was surprised when I visited her to see that in her garden are some of the very same things my garden sports--a glass sun, a little sun-powered lantern, rocks everywhere (we got that from our mother, I think. My husband says he knows it's Spring when I start packing rocks around the yard!). I don't know why I was surprised--that English gardening blood inherited from Mom is strong in almost all 13 siblings, and we share similar tastes.
Theresa and Dad, a few years before he passed away--two peas in a pod in some ways, and yet in others she is so like our mother.

Thank you for being my sister, Theresa. I'm a week late, but happy, happy birthday.

(At least I got your card mailed in time...I think...)


Anonymous said...

Thanks Susie, not quite sure I deserve all the nice things you said but I sure do appreciate them! :) I think it is funny when we visit each other's homes how similar our gardens are (course sometimes it is because we might help ourselves to a little volunteer as we come away, ask Julie!)
Love you, Theresa

Anonymous said...

Volunteers are free, it used to work too until Theresa quit telling me when she was going away!!!! :D
Happy Birthday Theresa!

Bubbasgotgas said...

Yeah she is great mom too.

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