How Ann Richards Saved Christmas

I am lucky enough to have grown up in a big family. I may not have always appreciated it when I was younger, but these days I couldn’t imagine my life being better any other way.

My brother and I fought incessantly for a good 26 years. Somehow whenever we came together in the same room, which wasn’t very often because we lived in different cities, we reverted back to when we were children. He would tease me, I would cry. It never took much for me to have him set me off in tears. A wrong look, a snicker, a tease. Whatever it was, I was bound to get upset…really upset. We ruined many, many meals because of this. Many a holiday would have gone off without a hitch if it wasn’t for the fact that I was so very sensitive to my brother’s words.

My other two sister’s were left alone by him. I didn’t understand.

“We just ignore him.” They told me.

Easy enough for them to say. How could one possibly ignore someone that is constantly picking on them. My mom had been telling me to ignore him since I was 7 years old. That advice just made me crazy. If they were in my position, they couldn’t ignore him.

Christmas of 2001 was approaching and I was nervous. The previous Christmas was totally rough due to the fact that we bickered like children. The ENTIRE time. I was obviously nervous that it was going to happen again.

Then I turned on the Today Show.

Ann Richards was on as a guest. I didn’t know who she was, or why she was on but for some reason I was captivated by her. I don’t remember much of the interview except for the part when she was talking about how she had decided that she would never let other people control her feelings. Only she could control her feelings. She didn’t people intimidate her or ruin her day.

A light went off in my head.

I am letting this stupid sibling rivalry ruin my day. No more. Next step: ignoring my brother. What a novel idea! I could do it now that I had made the decision that I am the only one in control of my feelings.

The teasing stopped.

Or maybe I just stopped caring.

It only took a few years, but I finally got it.

Thanks, Ann Richards.

My brother? He is not a bad guy. He is just a big brother. Some of them like to tease…my Mom’s brother still does it.

The other day my brother complimented my bean salad. I had to smile.

Bean Salad

serves 6-8

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1 can corn kernels, drained and rinsed

Juice of 5 limes

zest of 1 lime

1/2 c chopped cilantro

2 Tb Olive Oil

Mix all ingredients together and serve.

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