First, there was dinner at her apartment in Anderson, complete with most of her best friends and all of her family. Surprises were abundant, along with smiles and laughter. Dinner + cake + fellowship were enjoyed by all, and we all hoped it would be an evening that the birthday girl would remember for a lifetime. She got her hair fancy-fied, put on her tiara and sash, and grasped her wand in one hand while holding her beverage book in the other. She. Was. Stunning. And we were all so proud to be there for her on one of the biggest nights of her life.
Then, we made the short trek to Earl Street to enjoy some twenty-one-year-old drinks at Tavern Under the Bridge. She was the center of attention, as she very well should have been, but more importantly, she was a champ. Us Henderson girls were made to be tough, and she proved, once again, how true that statement really is. I'd gladly forsake my grandma-esque rituals to experience this night over again; what a treat it was to see the one who usually does all the treating be the one receiving all the treats!
Here's to you, Melanie Elizabeth Henderson, and how incredible your next three hundred and sixty-five days will be. We love you, and we love being loved by you!
"A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost."
-Marion C. Garretty