Thursday, September 30, 2021

My Sister, the Giver

Not long ago I received a package in the mail. It contained a pair of earrings that had been shipped all the way from the U.K. to my little house in Nebraska.

Fun, aren't they? I can't wait to wear them out in public!

What's the significance of the chili peppers? 

Recently my sister Elizabeth and I were shopping together. As I looked through a rack full of quirky earrings, I mentioned that I had been searching for a pair of chili pepper earrings ever since FEDERICO AND THE WOLF came out. I explained to my sister that a new pair of earrings was one way I liked to celebrate the publication of each of my books. I have moose earrings for WHAT ABOUT MOOSE?, fox earrings for HENSEL AND GRETEL: NINJA CHICKS, and cactus earrings for TWO TOUGH TRUCKS. But so far, I hadn't had any luck finding a good pair of chili pepper earrings to celebrate my latest book. 

Later that same day, Elizabeth texted me to say, "I ordered you chili pepper earrings."

Well, of course she did! My sister has always been a thoughtful giver. 

But here's the thing. When we were shopping that day, it was to fill some time between two of her many recent doctor appointments. Here Elizabeth was, worried and stressed about her recent diagnosis of stage 4 metastatic breast cancer, listening to me grumble that no one sold chili pepper earrings. But she didn't mind. In fact, I can imagine her making a mental note to look for chili pepper earrings online as soon as she got home. 

In case that doesn't impress you, there's more.

The VERY SAME DAY that Elizabeth had learned that her cancer had spread, she came by my house to visit with me and our parents, who were in town for my daughter's wedding. She had stopped by the store, and while she was there she bought me candy! White Chocolate Lindor Truffles. One of my favorites.

This is the kind of person my sister is. Even through the hardest times, she finds reasons to laugh. To give. To enjoy every little blessing life has to offer, and to be a blessing herself. She even got me to try sushi for the first time recently. And, wonder of wonders, I didn't hate it! 

I'm blessed to have Elizabeth in my life. And proud that I can call her sister.

Elizabeth and I out for sushi after one of her many
doctor appointments.


  1. What a wonderful sister. Sisters are a blessing. How thoughtful she is! Congratulations on "Federico"! I work cataloging books for a small school district. We are excited to try your salsa recipe. Thoughts of continued good health and happiness for you and your sister.


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