Girl!

Photo by olia danilevich: https://www.pexels.com/photo/little-girl-helping-her-brother-with-homework-5088191/
I suspect that I was a precocious toddler.  I don’t have any stories about being particularly verbose when I was young.  But knowing how my brain has always worked, and how my oldest son was, I was likely the kind of kid that liked to articulate words “bigger than my britches.”

One story that was told to me multiple times about my youth was about my first words.  (What proud mother doesn’t repeat such stories?)  One of these early utterings was supposedly “’Stang!”.  (I am adding the exclamation again extrapolating my current personality backwards — once I have a well-formed opinion about something, I am not shy to add emphasis!)  Apparently, I was quite smitten by the popular car at the time, the Ford Mustang.  I would exclaim every time I saw the signature horse logo on the front of these sporty muscle cars.

The other most commonly uttered phrase coming out of my young, toddler mouth was inspired by my older sister, Mona.  As the youngest child of 5, with 3 older sisters, I am quite confident that my mother had way too much help taking care of me!  (Not that I was spoiled! 😉)  And the nickname I had for the sister who was probably helping out with me the most was simply “Girl!”.  (Again, the emphasis is my own inference.)

I have been and remain completely smitten with Mona!   I recall thinking, when I was a bit older and significantly more loquacious, that she was completely beautiful.  At that time (early 70’s), Mona had long — very long, to her butt — gorgeous shiny blond hair.  And, like all of my sisters, but most pronounced in Mona, she had a sparkling and energetic personality.  Of course, I had a crush on her!  Of course, as the youngest by a significant number of years, I looked up to all of my older siblings — not worship, but certainly adoration.  And, Mona certainly the most of all.

Mona has always been, and remains, a force of nature.  She is so strong-willed as to border on obstinacy; so ethically driven, to border on preachy; so kind, to border on naïve.  Anyone who has ever known her has either loved her dearly, or actively stayed out of her way — or both.  Myself, I have always looked up to her as an example of how I should live my life.

Examples:

  • She took my sister, Jeannette, in, to live with her, when it was getting so hard for our folks to manage her bipolarity.
  • She (once again) took in our Mom after Dad died, to live with her until she could no longer care for her adequately.
  • She gave years of her life in service to others, in the Peace Corps in Africa.
  • She adopted Cody, a stray dog from Oklahoma, dealing with love and compassion all his varied (and understandable) behavioral issues — and made him a loyal companion.

Mona is kind beyond measure but can be quite fierce.  She always strives to do what is right, but can be a bit judgmental.  She is a good and loyal friend, but not always quick to forgive.  I have absolutely no doubt of the love she has for me, but I’m not always sure she really understands what makes me tick.  (Although, she really tries. 😊)

We are all so complicated!  Yin and yang.  Multiple aspects of the Light and even a bit of shade. Even our “bad side” is usually just a consequence of the true Goodness within us, or at least the Goodness we earnestly strive for.

Mona has from the very beginning been a Force in my life.  And she remains so today.  I will love her always — and she, me.

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