I’ve loved her since I was 4 years old

Published 6:55 pm Monday, July 1, 2019

I have written about numerous people, and I am ashamed that this person has not been mentioned. I honestly have known this person since she was born. She has grown into a beautiful Christian lady, both inside and out. You have probably guessed by now that I am writing about my little sister, Rose Ann.

I can remember the day my Dad took me under the big magnolia trees beside the Old Tayloe Hospital and into the emergency room up to the floor my mom was on the day Rose Ann was born. It’s there that Mom and Dad introduced me to my sister they had named Rose Ann. She would be four years younger than me, and little did I know that she would be the original tag-along.

Rose Ann (aka Riley) would follow us wherever we went, and most of the time was the first to be chosen in games. Her blue Schwinn bike could always be recognized because it would have her baseball glove on the handle bars just like the boys. She would play any game from football to whiffle ball and always played kick the can and marbles. Her buddy in the neighborhood was Thad Hodges Gerard, and together, being the youngest, they formed a perfect team. They built forts and played alongside of us as much as possible when we would let them.

Rose Ann could always be seen in her jeans with the knees out, playing marbles at John Small School. I cannot remember her wearing a dress when she was young, until high school. She loved her jeans and at night Mom had to scrub her knuckles from playing marbles so much. She would have rows of tater ridges that needed to be cleaned. I will admit she might have been better than her older brother and at an early age was the city marble champ.

I can also remember the first time my Mom took her to the beauty parlor to have her hair fixed for Easter and bought her a dress to wear that Sunday. When she got home and looked in the mirror, she cried her heart out and Mom had to wash it out at the request of my Dad. She was definitely Daddy’s girl and stole his heart at an early age, up until he passed away. No different than other girls of that time, they were protected by their Dad! It was a mutual love between daughters and dads.

Once Rose Ann got to the ninth grade, it was time for her to start wearing dresses and have the manners of a young lady. Mom and Dad decided to send her to boarding school at Vardell Hall, along with her other friends. Well, after a month of phone calls and crying to her dad each night, he decided he was going to go and get his baby, and he did exactly that. I always told him that I was a four-year experiment in child raising, and it made life a little easier for Riley. Pop agreed.

Today, Rose Ann is a wife and the mother of three beautiful children, who have given her seven grandchildren that she absolutely adores. I am so proud of my sister and all that she has accomplished in her life, from being a good mom, a good educator who truly loves her students, to being my true friend. She has always been there for me, and we have shared good and bad times together. My Dad may have loved her first, but I have loved her second and have since I was 4 years old. Thank you for being my sister, Rose Ann!

They were the best of times with the best of friends and in the best of places, Washington, NC!

— Harold Jr.

Harold Robinson Jr. is a native of Washington.