I have told all of you the story of when Randy and Katrina lived in a trailer behind Mom and Dad's house when I was really little and how Katrina would watch me slide down the slide over and over and over only because I'd told her to do so. I'm sure I told all of you about how Katrina was instrumental in taking me to my first rock concert. Randy and Katrina took me, Janell and J to see Robert Palmer. The guy dancing next to me danced with a very full glass of beer that ended up all over me. It was totally awesome. I'm not sure if I ever told you about the time Katrina was huge pregnant with J and she was watching me, Janell and our friend Erika. We had to go to the grocery store and all the people there were looking at Katrina with judgy eyes. Janell, Erika and I latched on to Katrina and started calling her "mom." The three of us thought it was hilarious. Katrina did not.
I collected Strawberry Shortcake when I was a kid and had every single Strawberry Shortcake doll that existed. Every single smelly one. Katrina played a major part in making sure that I had every thing Strawberry Shortcake. Pat Benatar, The Bee Gees, Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart, are all part of the soundtrack to my life introduced to me by Katrina. At one time Randy and Katrina owned a 1967 Ford van that someone had cut the top off of and welded a camper shell onto. It only had two seats and there was a hole rusted out of the floor in the back. I can remember sitting around this hole with Janell and we'd watch the road under us as Randy drove to this place and that. Every once in a while Katrina would yell back "scoot back from the hole!" because one of us had gotten a little too close to the edge.
My memories do not go far enough back to ever remember Katrina not being a part of my family. Its kind of fuzzy, but I even vaguely remember when she and Randy took Janell and I to see The Jungle Book and that was near the beginning of her relationship with my brother. When I pull up Christmas memories, I see my mom in her apron with a tray of pecan tassies and I see Katrina's hands with her perfectly manicured nails tossing raw oysters in cornmeal before transferring them over to the fry pan. She is ingrained in my life. She is my sister-in-law but in the years I have known her she has played the roll of sister, parental figure, babysitter, cousin, confidant, and friend.
Yesterday Katrina celebrated a birthday, but in reality we all celebrated her birthday. Because it's not just about her surviving another year. It's about another year (and many more) of having her in my life. Another year of her being my sister, parental figure, cousin, confidant and friend. I left babysitter off the list, because I don't really need that any more. Though, Katrina may disagree with that.
Happy Birthday Katrina! And Happy Love Thursday!