My sister’s birthday was this month. Our birth dates are only 18 months apart, so I don’t remember a time when she wasn’t around. Some might call my sister a bit of a character, because she didn’t pretend to be anything but who she was. She did what she pleased and said what she thought. As one friend said about her: “If you don’t like the apples, don’t shake the tree.” My sister was smart, pretty, athletic and an artist. She was generous above her means. My sister was a fighter. When rheumatoid arthritis struck her down, she didn’t stay down. It was a battle she couldn’t win, but that didn’t keep her from trying. We had plans, my sister and me. We would grow old together. We would place our easels side by side by a lake somewhere and paint beautiful scenery. We would reminisce and tell stories on each other and laugh. I will always miss my sister.