Sisters The oldest child in a family has a very unique position. They are the first experience their parents have at being parents. That first child is subjected to everything from being overprotected from dirt and germs, to having more expected of them than they are really able to live up to at such a young age. Somehow though, they survive first child syndrome. I think that in my sister, Cheryl Masterson’s case, being the first child gave her the ability to be a leader in so many ways. Of course, at home Cheryl was the leader to her little sisters. She helped us to do the things that kids do at certain ages…probably more so me, than our younger sisters, but I know that I always looked up to Cheryl and wanted to be as sophisticated as she was.Cheryl abt 9th grade

Cheryl was always the brave one too. I can think of a number of times, when we heard a noise, and while I would hide, she would jump up and go to investigate. I suppose that could be an age difference, or first child syndrome, or maybe Cheryl was just truly brave, but I know she always seemed to be someone that would do everything necessary to keep her little sisters safe. That had the tendency to give us a sense of security. And the funny thing was that she is only two years older than I am, so it wasn’t like she was an adult. She was just brave, and that made her a role model to the rest of us. Of course, later on, we all learned leadership skills, and bravery too, and while I can’t say for sure that Cheryl taught all that to us…I mean, after all, our parents cheryl104had something to do with that too…I think she played a key part in it, for me anyway.

I am so proud of all of Cheryl’s accomplishments. She is a legal secretary in a big law firm, and quite possibly it is that experience that has given her an attention to detail. I know how much they depend on her to make sure that all the legal documents needed for a case, are correct and where they need to be, when needed. She has come a long way from the little girl who was living through first child syndrome. She has turned into a wonderfully capable and beautiful woman. I’m proud to call her my sister. Today is Cheryl’s birthday. Happy birthday Cheryl!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Shai Graduation PictureShai catching me againSometimes, a child grows up right before your eyes. One day they seem so young, and then quietly, like they were trying to sneak up on you, all that changes, and before you stands a woman. Gone are the adolescent drama queen days, and in their place is a woman, strong and capable…where once a little girl stood. I just don’t know where the years could have gone.

My granddaughter, Shai Royce, who is the daughter of my daughter, Amy Royce and her husband, Travis, arrived the day after her cousin, Chris who was my first grandchild. She brought with her something fun for our family, when she was born on Leap Day. I had always thought of Leap Day birthdays as something really cool, but never expected to have a Leap Day birthday in our family. It was something unique and in our family there would be just one Leap Day birthday…and one granddaughter. Shai was not always sure she liked having that birthday, but I think that as time goes on, she will like it more and more.

Shai is a very outgoing, people person, with amazing management skills…especially for a nineteen year old. I find it quite amazing that she stands out as a go to person at every job she has ever had. She learns things quickly and is able to execute them efficiently. Before long, Shai is telling the boss how to do things, and they are listening, because they know she knows what she is doing…strange thought that. Shai’s ability to take charge presented itself early on when she took care of her ailing grandparents by herself for a full month at the tender age of just ten years. It was a debt we could never repay, and a blessing beyond measure for her grandparents. My dad told me later that they felt such a bond to Shai after the time they spent together. She gave them the peace of mind to be able to rest and recover.

It’s funny how some kids just seem to be mini adults very early on. Maybe for Shai, it was that she took on a lot of things, or maybe it was because as the only granddaughter, she was the one with the mother instinct…or the boss instinct, or maybe that was just her nature, and she was doing what came naturally to her. Whatever the case may have been, Shai was always a leader and manager. She will always stand out in that way in my Glamorous ShaiShai and the little snowmanmind, and I’m sure also in the minds of everyone who has the privilege of knowing her. She is a beautiful young woman of only 4¾ official years, who has captured the hearts of those around her with her charm and beauty. Her kindness and compassion for others will always endear her to those whose lives she will touch. Where have all the years gone? Where once a little girl stood, there now stands a lovely young woman…a blessing to me and her grandpa, as well as family and friends. Today is Shai’s 19th birthday. Happy birthday Shai!! Have a wonderful day!! We love you!!

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