On this day in 1970, my grandfather received what he always felt was the best birthday present he could ever receive, that being the birth of his granddaughter Heather Dawn Wright. Indeed, on that day we were all given a gift, for she was born with a heart full of joy, compassion and love that has not diminished in the 38 years since she took her first breath.
- She helped our mother raise our three younger brothers, in spite of our mother's poor health and at times overwhelming neuroses, and in spite of their father's efforts to create an unhealthy mental and emotional environment.
- She chose to go into teaching, because that is she wanted to do, where she felt she could make a difference.
- She took our mother and brothers in when our mother finally mustered the will to leave her second should have been ex-husband, and weathered the storms of mom's neuroses even when mom moved out (to a townhouse just a few doors away).
- She took the brunt of the fall-out from mom's short and fatal battle with lung cancer, including juggling the arrangements for her health care and being the executor for the will, which meant dealing with our brothers' father (she should be canonized for that alone) - when she had a newborn son to care for.
- She still had enough love after all of this to have three wonderful children, who are a joy to behold, who are obviously the product of a loving home. Thankfully, karma brought her a good man to be her husband and the father of their children, one who loves and cherishes her for the very qualities that she has manifested these past 38 years.
To say that I hold my sister Heather in the highest regard would be an understatement. Where I left home at 16 because I could no longer handle the emotional turmoil, she hung in there to make sure that our brothers had a chance at growing up to be decent human beings. In spite of all the things that she has weathered thus far in her life, including living in an emotionally poisonous environment for 18 years, she has not hardened her heart to the world. She's been the glue that's kept us together in spite of all that's happened, and she's never asked for anything in return.
Happy birthday, little sister, and may you have many, many more. I may not say it nearly often enough Heather, but I love you dearly, for all that you have done and all that you continue to be.