Happy birthday, my darling Cookie, my only sister, my friend. I am so grateful to know you, and for the love you have shared with me all your life – ever since you came into this world, you came out laughing, with smiles and with love for everyone. One could say that you were a camera hog, but I grew up with you and I know you and you are so loving, and always have been. And so kind, so kind that it hurts you to be unkind. I love that about you, even though I struggled to understand it in the past.
I’m even more grateful and inspired by the love you have given yourself, by going down your own path, never mind the doubters, never mind those that say be careful, be safe, don’t be too emotional, you have to be strong and all that bullshit. You have shown me with your courage to express your tears, that tears in a woman or a man are not a sign of weakness. You have shown me with your tentative openness to express your fears, you have shown me, my dear, dear, dear sister, you have shown me what loving oneself looks like.
When others have said, You have to be tough, just ignore the jerks and the meanness and the insanity, especially when it’s near at hand, you have let yourself be open and you have taught me openness and acceptance without judgement, and forgiveness, but how does forgiveness even come in when you accept people, and you accept yourself? I am just understanding this now and you have been showing this to me since you were a baby. Much younger than me in years you are, my sister, yet you have taught me with your wisdom and your kindness, and your madness, if madness is what it’s called when you indulge yourself in what makes you happy, whether it’s putting a tattoo, or five, on your skin, or loving who you love, freely, or having countless numbers of shoes.
Thank you, Cookie, my baby sister, my friend and guide, for allowing me to teach you how to be present for your dog, your fur-child, and for teaching me how to love my dog, my fur-child.
How could I ask for any other kind of sister when I have this beautiful, emotional, sensitive, matter-of-fact, contradictory woman that is you, you who are teaching me through your example and your being, when I’m awake to it, how to be loving to a woman, how to hear a woman, how to listen to a woman, how to see a woman. And, really, how to be there for someone you care deeply about, starting with oneself.
Happy birthday, Cookie, my darling sister. May your day and year and life be filled with love, with joy, with laughter and with acceptance.
I love you,
© 2019 Marlon de Souza. All rights reserved.