Happy Birthday to my cousin Colleen (see pronunciation guide above)!
I’ve always said - if they really want to bring peace to the Middle East, they should send Colleen!
She is one of the most accomplished peacemakers I have ever met. Perhaps it comes from being the middle sister or even a middle child, Colleen seems to know when the situation calls for her to step in and when to duck and cover.
I was so happy when the Boehm’s moved from Texas to Rockford. They brought with them three sisters and a brother, and I was excited to have new cousin-playmates.
Colleen and I connected, almost immediately. We played Little House on the Prairie together and spent countless nights at each other’s houses.
It became clear we were quite different, even from the beginning.
When I asked Colleen what she wanted to “play,” she said “missionaries!”
When she asked me, I said, “Let’s be blood sisters!”
Thankfully, both of escaped serious injury, when Colleen assured me she did want to be my sister but thought the sight of blood might make her pass out.
Over the years, Colleen grew up into the sweet, Christian girl you read about in books. Full of virtue.
I, on the other hand, went though phases of feminism (what do you mean, “went through?”), sarcasm, and not-conservative-Christian-approved humor.
Through all of this, Colleen still loved me, liked me even. We played volleyball together and shared some of the same high school friends. I felt profoundly fortunate to be her friend.
I put Colleen through the wringer almost every time I saw her post high school. Either I teased her about her conservative views, or I threatened to hug her. This may not seem like a threat, but the Boehms DO NOT LIKE TO BE TOUCHED.
They shrink from hugs like the hugger has been dipped in toxic mud.
Colleen is often the easiest one to tease, mostly because she just smiles in her innate good-nature and loves you anyway.
I probably don’t say this enough. But every time I see Colleen, I see Christ in her.
It’s in the way she gives up her time or resources to help others. It’s in the way she doesn’t react in anger, but in love. It’s her character I admire.
And, would it be possible, I’d like to be more like her.
I know. Good luck to me, right?
So, anyway, happy birthday to Colleen. My cousin. My friend.