My sister Halie’s birthday is today. She’s old. It’s no secret that we are close. We talk multiple times a day, and when I don’t see her, I get a bit sad. My month in Florida was hard on us both. I missed seeing Jacob, and missed seeing Hallie as much. She called me one day about halfway through my excursion, and woefully asked, “When are you coming home? This is ridiculous.”
Our relationship was always strong, but not without squabbles. I was extremely difficulty to be around, when I was not sober. Since my sobriety started, I became a voice of “some” reason and have even become someone from whom she will occasionally seek guidance.
While being diametrically different in many ways, Hallie and I, at our core are kindred spirits. Gregarious to a fault, she has never seen an opportunity to host a party as a chore. She is welcoming and loving. Hallie is real, even when she doesn’t want to be.
I remember calling Hallie within minutes of finding out Jacob was diagnosed with cancer. Hallie listened, cried with me, then sprang into action. She came to the initial meetings with oncology, with her little “cancer” book. She took diligent notes. My family was in shock, and I think the ONLY two people in the room who heard what the doctor was saying were Jacob and Hallie.
From the day Jacob was admitted until his final days, Hallie was there. She was there to advocate for our family when we were too tired to fight. Hallie us a rock in so many ways. We gifted Hallie and Becky the best gift ever. Jacob’s final day in the hospital. They cared for him that day, and loved on him like only they could. I am forever grateful.
After Jacob’s passing, Hallie once again answered the bell. She made sure Ana felt love. Hallie has spent every holiday making sure Jacob is properly remembered. Her words and lighting of candles is special to us in every way. There’s never a dry eye in the house.
Now, on to more fun shit. Here are some of my favorite Hallie(isms):
- “Your blog was great, but why do you have to curse?”
- “Can you talk without swearing?”
- In response to me bringing up some traumatic event from childhood…”Oh, that never happened.” HAHAHAHHAAHAHAAAA
- “Butter or Margarine man!”-inside joke
- “My kids would never do that!”
- “Come on B, you can do this”
- “You gotta lose weight!”-for reals? Like I don’t already know that
- “Ready, OK”-Hallie’s famous East Plano, Texas Cheer beginning that is likely to be heard at family gatherings
- “Stewarts don’t do drugs!!!”
Here are some favorite childhood times with Hallie:
- Hitting her in the face (ACCIDENTALLY) with a baseball bat! I was swinging the bat in my yard as a kid and didn’t see her walk behind me. I was so devastated that I walked across the street and played with my neighbor. I’m sorry Hallie
- Trips to Virginia and especially the first time I saw a bidet and had no idea what it did.
- Collecting frogs and toads on summer nights at the cottage.
- Jumping off the platform for hours at the cottage and getting Tom’s Donuts in the morning at Lake James
- Constant laughing at everything
- The street shooting-Trust me, this one was funny
- Hanging with Craig, Laura, Mike D, Jason W., and the rest of the Chadbourne gang
- Playing summer “tag” and “hide and go seek” on the block. Using the Bixler’s front porch as “base.”
- As we got older, having her hot friends come over. That was a highlight for this adolescent. Special shoutout to some of my faves Jane, Angie, Carolyn, and many other hotties.
- Playing in the backyard kiddie pool with Shannon (our golden) and the street peeps
- College hangs with Mike D, Craig and Laura at Joyce’s house
Happy and Healthy Birthday Hallie. I love you!!!