on this day, twenty-nine years ago, my beautiful sister, nina, was born. so today, i will spend time to wax nostalgic about nina and all that she has done in this life.
if you were to ask her, i am sure that you would get an earful about how i was the golden child of the family and got away with murder. and i suppose she is correct in the general sense of things. as the second oldest, i was able to fly under the radar simply because nina was such a noticeable blip on the screen. i mean, that woman can make an entrance, and she can make her presence known before even walking into a room. nina (a.k.a. jen) is likely the most sociable and gregarious person i know; i mean, she had an 8th grade boyfriend in first grade! needless to say, with this indomitable personality, it was bound to happen that sparks would fly between her and my parents. after all, she had to break them in for the eight younger siblings waiting in the ranks. so, when she starts talking about me being the golden child, you can tell her that i have her to thank for that.
not everyone is aware of this, but i know that she wouldn't mind my telling you that she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 2001. she has relapsed a few times since then, and each time has had its own difficulties and trials. however, both she and her family have been overwhelmingly resilient. her husband chris continues to amaze with his steadfast care for and love of jen, and her boys alex and william help keep her spirits up and her focus on healing her body. nina herself has consistently been upbeat and ready to face her illness head-on. ian made her a shirt saying, "i kicked leukemia's ass" and i think it's been her favorite t-shirt ever since.
nina is currently in recovery, and she is doing well. she has a great family, the members of which are impressive in their respect, wit, and senses of humor. she plans on returning to school for nursing this year and continues to help keep me in touch with people i love. and she turns twenty-nine today. talk about a life worth living. happy birthday, mistress crayon brown!