In many families one sibling seems to bear the responsibility of parents as they become older. In my family that sibling is my younger sister, Vicki.

My parents raised both of their girls to be strong, independent women. In the 1950s, most girls were told they were going to get married and have a family. My father and mother both told us repeatedly that we could be anything that we wanted to become, including a wife and mother.

My sister and I both share strong values and a feeling of great love. The older we get, the more, as Vicki put it this weekend, we realize what a "Leave it to Beaver" family we had. Strong, caring parents who felt, and I'm sure still feel that family is what is important.

My immediate family, except for my husband and grandchildren, live in Oklahoma, which makes it very hard for me to be as involved in their lives as I should be. That's why I am so thankful my sister Vicki is so willing and able to be there. My sister is a very special person and is very thoughtful in the everyday things. She is always sending little tokens to show how much she cares. She takes my mom shopping.

My parents have several poems that my sister has written to them in appreciation of how they raised us. When I call my parents each week, they mention something she has done that makes them feel very loved.

My sister is a great cook and, if you know me at all, you know it's not a trait I have in common with her. She comes to our gatherings and always has something delicious to eat with her. I'm impressed that my sister makes a fantastic peach cobbler in an oven that is one of those old-fashioned ovens that have no thermostat and that you have to turn on with a lighter.

I just want to thank my sister and my parents for being such great role models of a "great family."

By the way, keep your calendars open for Oct. 18 at 3 p.m. for our grand unveiling of the "Ice Age Mural" and mammoth bones at the Northwest Branch Library. Also, keep your calendars open for our "Wildlife in Focus" reception on Nov. 7 at 2 p.m.

Jean Meadors is the children's librarian for the Northwest Branch Library. Readers may contact her at (361) 241-9329.