Friday, November 09, 2007

Setting Lofty Goals [CCR]

The relationship of siblings is a very unique relationship. The children share experiences, both good and bad, that can form a lifetime supportive bond. My children get this speech every time I find them in a traditional sibling squabble, especially my two boys. I remind them that, if groomed properly, sibling relationships can develop a support system that will not fail. To me it is a more powerful message than any punishment I delve out, especially getting to listen to my sermon again.

Susan and I somehow formed one of those bonds growing up in Cherokee. We had our usual disagreements, but I don’t remember ever getting angry. If nothing else, we shared enough secrets and devilment to prevent a wedge from forming. Personally I would rather think we can attribute our interactions to trust rather than fear of being ratted out, but either method must have worked.

As the younger sibling I always looked up to Susan. She kept setting lofty goals for me to reach and it took all I had to hang on. I can remember Susan sitting up at night reading books by any light she could find while I avoided reading, something that I do not recommend to any growing young mind. The work of some very good teachers and Mom didn’t let my aversion to reading stymie my ability to become educated.

It all started when Susan left for school while I remained at home. It is hard to imagine that my memories carry me back that far. Somehow I knew when the bus would bring Susan home with stories of school and all the friends she met there. I can remember one lucky day I got to travel to school with my sister and sit in her classroom. I am not sure why the teacher agreed, but I remember each of Susan’s friends wanting to be the one to watch out for the young visitor.

Her influences carried way beyond the foundations of my education. She brought a new realm of music into my life. Many people find the decision of what instrument to play in band difficult. Mine was simple. Susan decided the band needed a Sousaphone and her brother could fill the need. With her coaxing, I marched out onto the field as a sixth grader toting that oversized instrument. Dad fashioned a pad that lay on my shoulder and cushioned the weight of the instrument.

The day she left for college probably gave more excitement to me than anyone else in the entourage traveling to Birmingham. During her days at school I would often travel to visit. Sometimes she carried me down to the college where she studied and I would carry my own homework. Her college days brought me my first Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Chick-Fil-A, and two-story malls.

Today I called Susan, as I do many mornings. She was preparing for another day at the office while I was driving to work admiring the morning sunrise. I knew she would succeed in life, it was unquestionable. I just didn’t realize she would be a doctor who would still influence the lives of many children. This particular day may bring anywhere from thirty to fifty or more patients. It would seem she still presents lofty goals. But I do know that, no matter what I need, she is only a phone call away.