“There were once two sisters
who were not afriad of the dark
because the dark was full of the other's voice
across the room,
because even when the night was thick
they walked home together from the river
seeing who could last the longest
without turning on her flashlight,
because sometimes in the pitch of night
they'd lie on their backs
in the middle of the path
and look up until the stars came back
and when they did,
they'd reach their arms up to touch them
i'm sitting here in the airport in provo, yet again with a 2 hour flight delay provided by the inexpensive and unreliable allegiant airlines. at least this time i'm outside of the plane, instead of inside like i was when i was stuck in arizona, sitting in the stuffy cabin while the engine of the plane was manually started.
what?? yes. not so comforting.
i'm learning the hard way what my time is worth, weighing the cost of flying cheap vs. flying reliable. and i've decided this is okay, it could be worse. i have my laptop with a small amount of battery still left, so i'm making myself useful. not only that but i don't have my kids with me, which would have made this an entirely more exciting experience.
i spent the weekend with my beautiful sister and her beautiful family. i celebrated birthdays, laughed, cried, snuggled babies, stayed up too late, cooked food, took pictures, and tagged along a birthday party of 7-year-old girls to see my darling niece get her ears pierced.
growing up my sister and i fought like alley cats, with claws and fangs. the differences between us intimidated me, and my insecurities became glaringly obvious when i was next to her.
now i look at her and she shows me the very best parts of myself through how much she loves me, even at my worst. it's hard to describe the love i have for my sister, especially when talking about it in person. hard because i cry and can barely choke out the words.
we have both been broken, 'veterans of the same war' as she says. we have both stumbled along our paths, and have had to pick ourselves up, bandaging our bruised elbows and scraped knees as we started walking again. apologizing for our mistakes under hot tears and lowered gazes, with soft resolution and squared shoulders to stop the cycle of pain. and we have marched on, more vulnerable yet less naive.
i'm not great at remembering a lot these days, my mind is full of so much that it pushes memories out so it can make room for piano lessons, school homework, teething gums and playing ponies.
but one memory of my sister is still as vivid as if it had happened yesterday.
at my father's wedding, sitting next to each other, both of us bursting with emotion. sadness, uncertainty, hesitation....and hope. we were silently saying our good-byes to the life we had known to embark on a new one with so many variables. i looked at her, and saw the tears streaming down her face, matching the tears falling down mine. she reached over and took my hand, and we held on that way through the ceremony, crying--grieving--and trying to learn to let go so we could be open to what was ahead, finding acceptance in the possibility of more love.
i remember looking down at our intertwined fingers. she and i have been through so much together and i knew that no matter what, we would continue to be there for each other. sharing joy and pain as it came in waves through our lives. i have no control over what happens, but i really hope she and i can grow old together, holding hands as wrinkles deepen and the skin wears.
promising to not let go.
happy 34th, lauren. i love you.