Olga is one of my favorite people in the world.
And as I write this, I am crying a little. It's hard to put into words the impact Olga has had in my life. She has filled in places my own mother could not fill in. She sat with me in the NICU when I was recovering from the shock of an emergency birth and a scary illness, learning along side me how to breastfeed a very premature infant. Olga has sorted my socks and organized my closet and prepped a baby nursery and she shopped for my wedding dress with me and laughed and laughed with me at all the ridiculous things that go on in the midst of the serious, scary things.
She has a brilliant grasp of the art of mockery, the most perfect sense of humor and can laugh and laugh at the bizarreness of the world. We have inside jokes like road chicken and slipper people, which are part of our family vocabulary. Olga can turn anything into a gourmet meal--just give her a few minutes.
She even taught Nicholas how to clean a porta-potty.
Olga has the magic touch that makes ordinary things special.
And she's always made time to get to know my family and my friends--my mom, my dad and my brother.
My brother adored her. And he was the best judge of character in the whole entire world.
Olga does not like to talk about her hardships. It is important to her to live in the present and to be positive and to live life to the fullest. But, as she has shared our hardships with us in realtime, she's told me about hard things in her life, too. To be entrusted with Olga's struggles is a gift--and to have her see the good in us and in our lives even in the midst of utter hell is more than a gift. It is a divine blessing.
And that is what Olga is: a divine blessing.
Happy Birthday Olga. None of us could do any of this without you.
We love you.