Have you ever heard the saying that sharing your burdens cuts them in half and sharing your joys doubles them? That is the way it has been between my sister and I.
We were both born in March, two years and one day apart so we shared a birthday celebration our entire lives. Although I went to college and she didn't we both married guys from the same fraternity at the Engineering school in the town where we went to High School, even though she met her husband when she was still in High School and I didn't meet mine until I was nearly out of college.
When our children were growing up we shared the joys and hardships of raising our kids. When our mom became ill it was together that my sister and I shared the burden of her long term care. If not for having my sister to help me think through the decisions that had to be made I would probably have been in a lot worse shape.
Last year as my sister and her husband were dealing with the horrible accident that nearly took the life of their son and the ensuing lengthy rehabilitation, it just happened that my sister's and my birthday fell right in the middle of their ordeal. Mrangelmeg and I took it upon ourselves to drive up to the rehab hospital with our oldest daughter so that she could stay with our nephew while we took my sister and brother-in-law away for a night of celebration and relaxation. They rarely left the hospital to do things for themselves.
We took them to a wonderful dinner at my favorite steak place where, because it was my birthday, we got an amazing desert called Mile High Chocolate Pie. It took all four of us to eat one piece. It was the most wonderful evening and really helped them relieve some of the stress of their long ordeal.
Our husbands' birthdays are in June, four days (and one year) apart.
This year, to repay us for the favor we did them, they have invited us to join them for another dinner at the same steak house tonight, on my brother-in-law's birthday (to celebrate the men's birthdays). I think as much as my brother-in-law wants to celebrate sharing the joy of being together again, he is really looking forward to that Mile-high-pie.
At least no one is going through a major trial this year, but we will share the little sorrows and joys of parenting, as there are always those. And we will talk about the memories we have of growing up, and all the years we have known each other, and the upcoming retreat we are all attending at St. Meinrad (my Holy Hill Gradual School), because my brother-in-law has been on retreat there and wants us to join him. (How funny is that?)
It should be a very enjoyable evening. I am looking forward to the company, well, that and the pie.