Remnants of a visit from a far away sister who walked by the front living room window as if she lived only down the street and had walked up the porch a hundred times. I screamed in shock, disbelief, tears.
That's how it is with sisters their presence always belongs, always exits, always found. It never really leaves.
Gone but not gone.
I kick up my feet on winter sheets of cardinals and green ferns where days ago her legs had rested and her head had slept.
Memories of childhood float into my tired, forgetful mind of young girls giggling before bed playing games quietly so mom and dad couldn't hear (but I'm sure they always did), sharing dreams and stories, and wishful thoughts while tucked in under cool sheets.
If only all the swinging, book reading, hand clapping, toilet sharing (yes), doll playing, pretend fun days could last forever even the moments of snapped Barbie doll heads, swapped spankings, and temporary pouts.
But I can still see some of those days, hear that voice, see that face young and older.
Now its conversations over coffee the good kind.
Succulent lunches and dinners that will take ten times as long to burn off as it does to eat but we don't mind.
Hopeful words of what's around the corner, whats come and gone, and what we miss from each other, all topped with laughter and the occasional glances of sadness in the eyes.
We try on clothes the big kind where the zero is now the second digit. We laugh and sigh about time.
And now we creak and crack and drag and yes sag but our eyes are still there, hearts still remember, hands still grasp.
Cutting onions on the counter I think of her wondering what she's doing.
Maybe the same thing I am.
Its happened before the same thoughts, same emotions, shared between two so close.
Maybe she's laughing, bouncing a crying baby on her lap, kissing a cheek of a child, cleaning a bathroom toilet, taking a nap, feeling lonely, helping a child do homework, drinking her orange or brown fizz.
Whatever it is I can see her.
Her, here, in this house, unexpected, made me remember that love is really all that matters, all there is. Yes her.
To lay it all down is to love. Love takes time. Love takes giving.
Offering it all up for someone a little someone or a big someone.
The love that drives across states, faces winters lash, leaves behind bundles of joy so that a face could be seen and a laugh could be heard.
The offering is Love.
Sounds simple but selfless love is always surrender and its never simple.
Giving some things up to love. To give love more time, drive it this Love.
I can't do it all and I don't have to but to Love.
It's dark in the early morning hour.
I'm sure she's asleep. Midnight. Or maybe she can't sleep, maybe her back hurts or the baby cries.
But she loves and I know, she lays it down.
"..let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth." I John 3:18