My sister has been my chief cheerleader and support system for 54 years.
When I cried incessantly as a baby, my parents threatened to put me up for sale in a wheelbarrow by the road.
I think in today’s world, someone would have called child protective services, but back then it was their way of saying, “If this child doesn’t stop screaming, we’re going to lose it!”
Of course, they never INTENDED to sell me, but my five-year-old sister couldn’t grasp the nuance of dark humor yet, so SHE began to scream and beg for my life.
She wanted me, tears and all.
She still does.
Always more comfortable with a drawing pad or lost in a good book, she never failed to encourage my more “outward” pursuits. She schlepped me to Philadelphia from Buena, NJ to get my head shots taken. When I competed in the Miss Magic 103 radio contest, and belted out my Cher impressions for the world to hear, no one laughed louder. Before and after big events,she sends me handwritten cards or flowers. And when I’m blue? She reminds me that better days are coming. Usually in about two weeks, if you mark it on the calendar. In man respects, my sister Shirlee has been my guardian angel.
Shirlee DiBacco has always avoided the spotlight, yet has always helped my face find the sun.
And this past Friday night she made her acting debut!
Forever she has loved the play “Our Town” by Thornton Wilder. An “Our Town” groupie, she’s seen the play from New York to Hammonton numerous times. She quotes from the play, because to her, there’s a line from “Our Town” to fit any situation.
And then she saw an ad that her community theatre in Somers Point, NJ would be holding auditions for…”Our Town.”
She tried to talk herself out of it, but couldn’t shake it. When she showed up, she practically recited an encyclopedic knowledge of the play. She would have paid the producers to give her a part.
No need. So captivated by her enthusiasm, she handily won the part of “Woman in the Balcony.” The woman with a movie star face who always took a back seat and applauded for everyone else is finally having her moment.
And I am so proud of her I could just burst.
I’m flying up to see her final matinee next Sunday, the 12th. And I am equally delighted that she (and my mom) picked our new Word of the Week!
I wonder what new things are right around the corner for us this week?
Let’s be explorers!