These are Southern Bubbas
When we moved to the south, we learned that many families call the brother in the family, Bubba.
Well, I didn't have a brother so I just started calling my sister Bubba and it stuck. For good or bad, for thirty years, she's been Bubba to my parents, my N'Awlins friends and my boyfriend Chip. Sometimes she's Bubs, sometimes she's Ha-Bubba. But she's rarely Amy anymore.
So, my jumbled thoughts over some forty plus years of sisterdom, in no particular order:
She can't remember names well and once referred to a woman as "Janet Undergarment", which Chip and I immediately said we were pretty sure wasn't correct. She dutifully ran behind me lugging all the suitcases for 30 minutes in 1986 as I zigzagged hyperventilating across the Barcelona airport after realizing there was no plane and our tickets were out of Madrid. She got into a girl fistfight at the Circle K in high school, prompting my mother's classic comment still used to this day, "How tawdry." She's been a friend to Trudy and Stephanie for thirty years, one who she still sees almost daily and introduced her to her husband, Dave....and one sadly that she can only see in her prayers now.
Despite years of protestations from everyone in the family, she still spends hours choosing from the Hallmark mushy card section for our birthday cards, the ones that have flowery script writing and horribly gaggy sentimental sayings and cost five bucks a pop. She dropped everything and came to live with us in the early nineties to be our nanny for six months while I was in graduate school. She has endured endless torture at my hands her whole life, rarely if ever telling on me. This torture included the usual sibling punching, pinching, pushing and hitting but I think I took it to a new level that could well go in the Guinness Book of worst things done to siblings: mouth to mouth resuscitation whilst breathing. I can say with authority that the sound of the lungs inflating on the Resusci-Annie mannequin is quite authentic. It was the exact same sound my sister's lungs made right before she pushed me off of her, coughing and gagging uncontrollably as I pleaded with her to be quiet before Mommy or Daddy heard.
She is the most faithful of friends and to this day, keeps in touch with old neighbors and friends from our childhood hometown. She went to a really cool 70s hippy school in the woods called Rose Valley that nurtured and celebrated her for who she was and probably helped make her the person she is today along with my patient, loving parents. She has a chameleon quality that makes her the best of friends to all sorts of people, assuming their interests and concerns with the same passion as she would her own. She took more than a month out of her life to live with and take care of our mom with a broken ankle. She's acted as lay social worker to boyfriends, stepchildren, nieces, friends, parents, husband and even me. There is no one more special than my sister and I feel undeserving at times of the love and loyalty from such a unique and fantastic person--a truly good person, and there aren't enough of those in the world which is what makes them stand out.
This is My Bubba
Happy Birthday, my Bubba. I can't wait to see you in April when I hope to buy you a steak for your belated birthday and then try the Heimlich maneuver on you if you'll let me.