Anyway, she was talking all about her siblings, and offhand I asked her, "When was the last time you saw them?"
The light sort of went out of her eyes, and the smile died on her face. She got a sort of vacant look, and didn't say anything for several seconds. At last, she licked her lips and said, "Well honey, I guess it's been nearly ten years since I've seen any of them."
I felt like something coiled itself around my stomach and squeezed. How could that be? How could people--siblings!--who love each other, grew up with each other, stood at each others' weddings, cuddled each others' children, laughed and cried with each other not even VISIT each other for TEN YEARS?! How is that even possible?
And it got me (here it comes, you knew it was going to happen, it's inevitable when somebody says something semi-important or serious to Johanna) it got me thinking. Thinking about my own siblings. This woman's story was eerily similar to my own. I thought about my own family.
My little sisters, Rachel and Mary, who cuddle in my bed in the evening listening to me read Jennie McGrady mysteries until I force them into their own rooms to sleep out whatever is left of the night.
My little (big) brother, Josh, who does crazy, spur-of-the-moment things with me, staying up late playing Gin and having movie quote wars, laughing at Psych episodes and Weird Al Yankovich, playing games, and arguing about the rules of Risk.
My big brother, Jim, who loves to hang out with me even though he's newly married and busy with school, who makes me laugh harder than anybody else I know, and always stands ready to help you out with school, general advice, or chasing away bullies who are pelting you with snowballs. :)
My big sister, Nikki, who encouraged me as a young girl to excel, to learn, to be smart, to stand for things even (or maybe especially) when nobody else will, who used to let me sleep in her bed whenever I was scared or had a bad dream, read me books and told me story after story, teaching me the joy of using your imagination.
All of my siblings, I love them. I can't even remotely imagine going ten years without seeing even one of them. I love them too much. Even when we all get old and have families of our own and move to different states or whatever, I hope we all still make an effort to see each other. It just makes me so sad to think of siblings not ever seeing each other. Seriously. I want to cry just thinking about it.
So, this blog goes out to my siblings. You guys can't get away from me! Understand? There's nowhere you can hide. No way am I going to let ten years go by without seeing you, so you're just gonna have to come to grips with that. You're stuck with me, kid, and that's all there is to it.
"Many Roads" --Andrew Peterson