So many of my readers already know about my close relationship with my sister. Growing up, we shared a bed, we shared clothes, and we fought like cats and dogs- ones that hated each other. Many were the times our fights ended with me holding a hunk of her hair, and with her smiling at me with that smile that said, "I might have the black eye and a bald spot...but I have indeed won this." And then I would learn that revenge, in the hands of a mastermind, is indeed no fun at all. Those were good times... I have no idea how we emerged from our childhood with what is now a solid bond stronger even than steel. But, sometimes life hands you friendship on a golden platter...sometimes it comes through trial by fire.
Renee and I walked through the fire and came out better than when we went in.
Until her husband joined the military, Renee and I had done everything together. We cleaned our houses together, we got pregnant together, we nursed our babies together, we played strategy games together. Even when she moved to Ohio, we made sure to plan our vacations together and we saw each other every several months.
Then came the bad news. Devastating news for the both of us. A move, on her family's part to what might as well be the other side of the world. Rome, New York. I seethed at her husband Jesse for taking her so far away from me. I railed at God for moving her to a place in which distance was the great separtaor. I cried when her fourth wee one was born and I could not be there to see her.
As Christmas approached, we neared the mark of one year without seeing each other. We both had new homes, and she had a new baby, all of which we could not share with each other. We talked on the phone several times a day...but that distance was starting to overwhelm us. More times than I could count, I would say good bye and hide away in my bathtub for a good cry.
I missed my sister in such a way that I can not even describe.
And then... Jesse...that dear man I had been seething at. He called me and asked me if I would mind being my sister's Christmas gift. I think I sat on the phone stunned, not knowing exactly what he meant.
"I would like to fly you up here for a gift to Renee." he said.
And I cried. For joy.
I had to keep the secret for four long weeks. The longest weeks of my life. The Christmas season was jammed for me. I would be in New York the two weeks before Christmas which meant I had a lot of work to do. On top of that, I couldn't share my excitement- or my stress with Renee. I even found myself avoiding her calls because I was so afraid I would let it slip.
It was worth it on the Thursday night when Jesse walked into his living room and told Renee that he had an early Christmas gift for her. Then I walked through the door.
and stared some more.
And then I grabbed my beautiful baby niece Karist from her arms and held her for the first time.
Renee was still staring. And then she cried. For joy.
I could not have received a better gift. I soaked in everything, held my nephew and neices as much as possible, played star wars legos, got trapped into watching Star Wars and My Little Pony, and became a good witch who trapped children in their rooms until they got them cleaned. I helped Renee decorate her home (she is quite and expert, and everything looks so lovely), and I listened to my niece Devonae tell me wonderful night time stories about the aunt and the little girl who got lost deep in the dark dark woods and had to build a house where they lived ever after.
I am sorry about the suffering that my blog took while I was away, but I was busy. Busy hugging, and holding, and loving. Which, is, by far, better than writing.