My younger sister Julie is the kind of person that would have been an entertaining side character for a mid 90s family sit-com. As she aged in life, so she would have aged in the seasons, with her role in the show primarily remaining the same. She would have memorable catch-phrases that would change every two seasons or so and would often find herself in the emergency room due to some of the most absurd circumstances that any writer could cook up. She is not, however, a character in a mid 90s sit-com. She is a sister and a friend. I am proud of her and the woman she is and is becoming and to show that I’m going to tell an embarrassing anecdote or two about her. I am doing this primarily because I am not her best man, and thus will have no formal platform to humiliate her on her upcoming wedding day. My love for her takes a strange form.
On May 15th 1990 the world was graced with the presence of one of a million other screaming pink little infants. The one in question was born the 5th child of the Robison household in southern California. Julie and I share a unique situation in the, being born 4th and 5th in a family of 8 kids, we did whatever it took to get the most attention from my parents. It was a skill that, although I had a little over a year headstart on her, she mastered far better than I could, primarily by removing all of her clothes and singing along to children's Bible songs with more gusto than Pablo Pavarotti.
It was a tough game, vying for attention in a house filled to the rafters. But I just didn’t have it in me to compete with a person that would do the type of stuff Julie did. The medical bills alone would have turned more heads than any sort of dumb dress-wearing shenanigans I would ever pull. Swallowing pennies, cartwheeling down a cement staircase, breaking her arm on three separate occasions. I was desperate but not THAT desperate. I remember she once, at the age of three walked out of the bathroom and proudly displayed the fact that she had found Dad’s razor and managed to cleanly shave off one of her eyebrows. She was dedicated to the cause, and was a master at her craft.
My personal favorite near-catastrophe involving Julie took place one evening when our family was enjoying the tide-pools at a local beach. And when I say enjoying I the children were probably having a grand time while my parents wondered at their short-sighted decision to bring 5 children to the the ocean in the hopes that the van would remain sand and water free on the way home. Julie, in an attempt to fend off the mind-dulling boredom associated with rumbling waves, pools of sea-life and something we had dubbed “wave-racing” found a more enticing pass time; crawling between a very tight space between two large boulders resting in the sand. After multiple successes she decided to give it one last go before we left, however this attempt differed from the others in that she was had donned a button up coat. Wriggling she managed to get her head through the small hole. Her finite 4 year-old wisdom failed her at this point as she had failed to factor in the thickness of her coat. She politely requested the attention of my parents, who I am sure were attempting to prevent David from tossing me into the ocean, by screaming for help. This drew plenty of attention, which is probably exactly what she had hoped for. Like I said, she was pretty good at that. Frantically my father began digging and pulling at her to free her, but to no avail. She was stuck between tighter than a fat man in a school desk. There was a helpful lifeguard who ran up to inform us that the tide would be rising above her head in ten minutes though, so that was nice.
A crowd gathered to observe the panicking man, his wife and 4 of his children as they failed in every attempt to free the little girl whose jacket was hopelessly caught on the craggy edge of a boulder in the sand. Thankfully, and this is one of the more surreal things that I’ve observed in life, a homeless man showed up wielding a knife. Digging in the sand, he pinpointed the exact spot on the jacket that was keeping Julie entrapped and cut it loose. I remember thinking that on top of everything that would happen, Julie had lucked out and would probably get a brand new jacket.
To say Julie has had a life already full of interesting stories is an understatement, and I’ve been lucky enough to be by her side for some of the earlier ones. She has matured into a woman that honestly seeks to pursue the single thing worth pursuing in this life; furthering the kingdom of God. She has found a partner to share that goal with, and my prayer for her and my soon-to-be brother in law is that they go after that cause doggedly, with more passion than Julie displayed the time she destroyed her knee in a dance off against a Romanian orphan. Julie has been given an abundant gift from God. She has been blessed with an abundance of talent and an overflowing fountain of personality.
Julie, use those gifts for the purpose they were intended. I really wanted to share that one story in particular about how God has changed you over the years, you know, the one you told me I could never tell? with the birthday card? You know what? If I ever get into stand up comedy, which probably won’t ever happen, but I reserve the right to tell that story.