Stephanie Rische

Stubbing My Toe on Grace

A Letter to My Sister on Her 28th Birthday May 24, 2013

Filed under: Family — Stephanie Rische @ 11:44 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

They were going to name you Fart-Dart.

 

We had a family meeting to discuss names before you were born, and Dad and Kyle formed an alliance, claiming that if you were a boy, Fart-Dart it would be. My indignant protests and sisterly outrage fell on deaf ears. They were too busy trying to figure out a middle name that would go well with Fart-Dart.

 

At seven, I was pretty sure Mom wouldn’t let that fly, but I wasn’t positive. Those two were a force to be reckoned with when they teamed up together—Dad with his “No, I mean it” expression that made it impossible for me to tell if he was joking, and Kyle with his infectious giggle that bubbled up every time bathroom humor was employed.

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And so I prayed. Every night before I went to bed, I prayed and prayed, with all the seven-year-old faith I could muster, that you would be a girl so you wouldn’t have to live your life under such a curse.

 

Sure enough, on a Friday in May all those years ago, Mom and Dad called from the hospital with the news. I was sitting on the bed in Grandma and Grandpa’s guest room—the one with the orange flowered bedspread. I could barely breathe as I waited for the announcement.

 

“It’s a girl,” Mom said.

 

I knew I was supposed to say something, but my throat was stuck. At seven, I thought you only cried when you were sad. I couldn’t figure out why tears were trying to squeeze out now, when I was so happy.

 

Finally I eked out the logical question: “What’s her name?”

 

Mom and Dad hadn’t decided yet. But it didn’t matter—I had a sister. And her name would not be Fart-Dart.

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All these years later, God has answered my prayer in ways beyond what I thought I was asking for back then. I’d been praying for a sister to avoid a name disaster, and he’s given me a sister to talk with, laugh with, whisper with, and do crossword puzzles with. He’s given me a sister who shows me what it means to shine Christ’s light in the way she cares for others and faithfully lives her life. He’s given me a sister who encourages me to try new things, a sister who spurs me to live more fully and abundantly and joyfully. He’s given me a sister who also happens to be my friend.

 

Meghan, you are the answer to my prayers and then some.

 

And now in this year of your life, baby sister, you are going to have a baby yourself. And you know what? You’re going to be such a good mom. I’m praying for your baby as we count down these months and days, just as I prayed for you twenty-eight years ago—not about the gender this time, but that this child will love God and love people. That he’ll have a big heart and a pure faith. That he’ll embrace life with his arms wide open. Just like his mama.

 

But I do have just one piece of advice for you as prepare for this baby’s appearance: please, whatever you do, don’t name this kid Fart-Dart.

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8 Responses to “A Letter to My Sister on Her 28th Birthday”

  1. maggierowe Says:

    This post brought tears to my eyes AFTER I got over laughing about the name Fart-Dart. You think you’ve heard of everything until you hear anecdotes about the wonderful Voiland sense of humor…!

  2. Linda Says:

    Moved me to tears, too, Stephanie. I vividly remember the night my own sister came home from the hospital when I was seven years old as well. You’ve been given a great gift in your relationship.

  3. Today would have been my sweet sister’s 28th birthday. It’s heart-warming to read of your kindred relationship! Many blessings.

  4. Nancy Rische Says:

    So fun to have sisters to share with whether by blood or not. Enjoy her and congrats to Ted and Meghan.

  5. […] now, as I think about this baby, I can’t help but think how blessed this kid will be to have parents who shine the way Meghan and […]


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