|(left to right) Brian, Tina, Ray, Mom, Dad, Jenny, Sherie|
Tina has been my friend since I was very small. There were times when I'm sure Tina thought I was a bit pesky, but for the most part she was patient, and kind, and fun. When she was a teenager I used to tease her for doing her hair at night. I asked her if she was hoping to look nice in her dreams. She didn't clobber me, so you can see that she was patient. When she came home from youth activities that I was too young to attend she would take the time to tell her curious little sister (me) all about it. She and my other siblings were my main playmates during the growing up years and we had a lot of fun. Tina taught us in "school", did gymnastics, played dolls and barbies, baked, and did many, many other fun and imaginative activities with us.
Tina is compassionate. On those sad days as a teenager when all of the emotion I had been holding in bubbled out in tears, it was Tina or Jenny, my two good sisters, who would let me lay on their lap and cry until I was able to pull myself together and become my "naturally cheerful self" (I'm quoting my brother Brian there). It is Tina who, as a rather poor newlywed, would call to check on me, a rather poor college student. Somehow she and Chris always found enough food to share with me, and it was much better food than the noodles and salt that I got down to once. I never felt she was judging me, just kindly taking care of me. When I was grown up a bit and had children of my own, I can remember Tina (and Jenny) coming to the hospital to see my little Tia who had to have surgery when she was two weeks old. They both cried to see my little girl hooked up to monitors and tubes and I remember how glad I was that they had come. Tina has been there to be understanding and loving during the challenges of my life, and this is very helpful to me.
Tina is very talented. She is a good musician. She plays the piano, and sings alto like me. At one time she knew how to play the guitar. Tina sews. She used to sew clothes for her barbies and dolls, and could sew things without patterns. Now she does the most wonderful quilts. She made a gorgeous quilt for my parents 50th anniversary that took her hours and hours. She is also the one who made the fun hamburger puppet for my birthday. She likes tools and fixing things and is very handy. She also is a gardner and has gardens that my Dad (the chief gardner) can be proud of. She does a lot of canning and is good at feeding guests, even at the last minute (at least she used to be, we can't really just pop over anymore). She is a good teacher too and has taught her children well.
Finally, because I can't bring myself to leave it out, Tina was always super fun to have around at Christmas time. All of my siblings (except Ray who preferred sleep) spent a lot of time on Christmas Eve sneaking around the house, and even playing with our toys from Santa. We had so much fun every year. It was always our goal to not get caught by my Dad. My parents were very patient and Mom would come out first to warn us to get quiet. When Dad came out we knew we'd have to go back to bed, at least for a few minutes. Tina loves Christmas still and I think she probably still gets very little sleep on Christmas -- but more because her own children are up wandering about!
There are so many good things I could say about Tina! Tina is a great sister. I love her and am very thankful for her.