Monday, April 14, 2014

Siblings Galore, April 14, 2014

Help your brother's boat across,
and your own will reach the shore.
~Hindu Proverb

Happy Birthday to Rachel! Today, Monday April 14, is the 27th birthday of my niece Rachel Shepard. She is one of the granddaughters of Maida Shepard and the daughter of Darrell and Mary Medina Shepard. Rachel lives with her folks in Kirkland, Washington.

The first picture is a collage of photos compiled by Rachel and posted on Facebook recently, in honor of Siblings Day this past Thursday, April 10, 2014. In the collage are Rachel with her 2 brothers Patrick and Christopher. The collection also works well as a celebration of Rachel's birthday! 

What? You've never heard of Siblings Day? Neither had I till I saw Rachel's post on Facebook. Wikipedia tells me that Siblings Day has been around for 15 years. In that time 39 state governors have issued proclamations recognizing it. Unfortunately our dear governor here in California is not one of the 39, which may be why it is not so well known in this great state. Why are we always behind the times here in California? (jk!) Even though it is not federally recognized (as is Mother's Day and Father's Day), awareness of Sibling's Day is growing. Recognized or not, it is a day worth observing, so kudos to Rachel for doing so!

I will even jump on the bandwagon and post here pictures of my siblings. The top part of this second picture was taken in 1970 and shows my parents Eugene and Maida Gower Shepard with my siblings: Gary, me and Linda sitting on the couch next to our parents; and Darrell, Russ and Barbara down in front. This was probably the last picture taken of all 6 siblings together. Linda died the following year.

The lower portion of this collection of pictures shows my siblings once again: Gary, me, Jerry, Darrell, Barbara and Russ. These pictures were all taken at our Shepard family reunion last summer in Anacortes, Washington, the most recent time we were all together. One difference in the 1970 picture and the 2013 pictures (besides the obvious changes that 43 years have wrought!) is the inclusion of Jerry Clark, who married my sister Linda in 1970, and has remained a part of our family ever since.

Senior Siblings. I have one other set of siblings that I want to highlight in this post. The third picture shows my mother Maida Gower Shepard and her sister Vicki Gower Johnston with their late brother Hendrix (Hank) Gower in a picture taken about 10 years ago. Hank died the year after this picture was taken.

Maida and Vicki both live today in Western Washington and are the senior siblings among us. Maida, who lives in Anacortes, was born in 1924, while Vicki, who lives in Oak Harbor, was born in 1933. They are daughters of the late Leroy and Nola Shannon Gower, and are both Great Grandmothers in their own right. Are there others among our extended family who also deserve to be honored as "senior siblings"?

Whoever your siblings are, and whatever their age may be, be thankful for them!
- - -
Steve Shepard

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