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awful clever with a quarter

November 9, 2009

It’s official: my sister, Angelica, has completed twenty-five years of life and what a life it’s been!  Ang is a special soul.  Many people miss seeing just how amazing she is because they can’t see beyond her autistic quirks. 

Angelica isn’t severely autistic, nor is she ultra high-functioning.  She is simply Ang, with no excuses or apologies, which is one of the things I love the most about her.  She may not have the most productive life, according to mainstream standards, but hers is a life full of dignity, love and laughter. 

Ang is one of the funniest people I know.  She is full of one-liners, and her delivery of said lines will set us off laughing for a good five to ten minutes.  She certainly keeps us entertained with her witty and melodramatic antics.  Of course, Ang doesn’t let that side of her show unless she is in a comfortable setting, which means most people don’t get the chance to see the one woman show. 

While Angelica has a fabulous sense of humor, even when it comes to her autism and OCD tendencies, she also has her struggles.  The fast-paced, high-energy, more-options-than-you-can-count, over-stimulating world can be extremely overwhelming.  Patience can wear thin on both ends when trying to communicate and decipher certain situations, emotions and needs.  Overall, Ang handles these and all her frustrations quite well.  That is not to say of course that she doesn’t have bad days.  But the bad days and moments aren’t as frequent as they were a few years ago.  I am proud of the way Angelica has embraced her limitations instead of wallowing in them.  I love how she accepts who she is while still allowing room for growth. 

Angelica is an intrinsic part of our family dynamic.  I am ever so grateful for her life. 

Ang was freaking out a little about turning twenty-five, and I wanted to give her a little birthday shout-out: Ang, I struggled with twenty-five too.  Turning twenty-five was a lot harder than thirty, but you will get through it.  You are resilient!  Besides, turning a quarter of a century should be easy for you.  After all, “you’re awful clever with a quarter!”*

I love you, Angelica!!


Angelica, the Birthday Girl

 *said by Marilyn Monroe as Pola Debevoise in How To Marry A Millionaire (favorite movie of the Schwartz sisters – one that we pretend is a documentary)

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