After suffering the big sister pinch of death as a younger brother… it all worked out ok

October 1, 2010

My sister is celebrating a big milestone birthday today. I won’t mention which one, but let’s just say any age is now the new 30. And honestly age doesn’t really matter anyway. If you stay current, love life, keep a positive mental attitude, and take care of yourself, they’ll be many years ahead of getting carded when buying a nice bottle of Pinot.

I always struggle with what to get her. She is an architect, has amazingly cool style, and lives out East where trends come and go before we see them here in the ol’ Midwest. I didn’t want to get one of those yard signs, you know, “A little birdy told me your thirty” or “Lordy Lordy guess who is 40?”, I bet I know, the person who lives in the house with the stupid yard sign and 40 foot inflatable purple gorilla.

Instead I thought I’d focus on some of the things my big sis taught me in life.

Be yourself
Gina has never afraid to be an individual. From how you dress, to your belief system, to what kind of car you drive. If it feels right go with it. Only you can truly be the judge.

Be musical
I can’t sing and when I do there is a slight seismic shift in the Earth’s crust. Gina is a great musician and appreciates the joy of music. I grew up with her influences of the 80s; Edie Brickell, Paul Simon, Depeche Mode, Peter Gabriel, and on and on. That background really set the foundation for me moving forward. I might not like country all that much, but I certainly appreciate the songwriting, passion, and effort put into sharing yourself through music.

Be passionate
My sister has many passions. Cooking, baking, architecture, family, friends, music, and really anything that requires creativity, cool, and a unique perspective. A couple of years ago she made a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. It wasn’t the fact it was one of the best desserts I had ever had, it was the care and connection with what she was doing that was impressive.

Be tough
My sister is 5’7 and five and a half years older than me. I didn’t grow until I was in high school. Do the math, she always seemed to be a foot taller through half of my life. Sure I was stronger, but she had a pinch that made the Vulcan Nerve Pinch feel like a day at the spa. She found a way to quickly get me to stop whatever annoyance I was causing. She was tough by being smart. Which leads me to…

Always be learning
I might be a better athlete (although even there I’m not sure), but one thing I am 100% certain, is that I am not match from an intellectual standpoint with my sister. And she is not just book smart, but understanding the bigger picture and going for it. What happens when work slows down with the economy? She studies, learns, applies, and receives new designations, licenses, and certifications to put her ahead when things pick back up. Too bad more people and companies didn’t follow suit.

So Happy Birthday Gina. We may be half a country a part but the memories, lessons, appreciation, and love is never far from my heart.

Happy Birthday and I love you!



  1. Ike,
    Beautifully written and the best birthday gift Gina could ever receive. She is a lucky big sis.

    Happy Birthday Gina!!!! I wish I knew you too. :))


  2. Hey Bub,

    No matter how different we were, or maybe will always be, I’m glad we share the ability to be ourselves, and appreciate one another’s individuality, passion, toughness, and drive.

    And I would add, maybe the most important thing we share – bottomless imagination.

    As always, thanks for making me smile!

    Thanks for getting over the pinching.

    • Anytime! And I still have a bruise. 🙂

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