Let me start off by saying that I love this photo of you. You were so cute with your curly hair. I've been wondering lately if our little one will have curly hair, too...I hope so. Dad wrote on the back of this photo, too, "Melissa '77". But in a lot of them, he referred to you as "Missy", your endearing nickname.
When I walked into Dad's room late one night, when we thought he may not live through the night, I crouched down beside him and he said, "Missy?" and swatted at my hair and gave a startled, "Ah!"...I couldn't help but laugh, but I hope he calls you by this name again before he leaves this world.
It's a shame that because of our prior religion, you grew up not celebrating the day you were born. (I celebrated my first when I was eight) Even if no presents are given, no cake is had, it's nice to simply be acknowledged and feel special for a day...especially for a child. Paganism, my ass.
So, today, a couple days later, I celebrate you, my dear sister, who taught me so much. Growing up, I would love to sit and watch as you did your homework. I would admire your penmanship and get so upset that I couldn't write as well as you. I was maybe five, at the time. You were so patient with me and would write out letters for me to trace and I loved you for it.
You cut my hair for me, you dressed me (sometimes in your clothes), you loved me like I was your own...you made me feel special everyday. You said the day I was born, our parents gave you the greatest gift...a little sister, but you were my gift, too. I became the woman I am today because of you. I don't know where I'd be without you.
Happy Birthday, Missy.