Whenever my sister would get dumped by a boyfriend, it was not hard to predict what her next move would be. Obviously there would be the tears and the heavy reliance on our parents, but then there was also the mall, because nothing made Amy feel better about herself than "pretty underwear" or soft underwear or whatever. Once when Amy was a little girl (the most impossible little girl for a father to dress mind you), I remember my dad threatening to call Mrs. Bradley, our school secretary to tell her Amy wouldn't be coming to school today because she couldn't find the right pair of underwear to wear. Ooh, I knew the kid was in trouble then. I was of course clothed, winter coat, gloves and all, waiting with my backpack and trapperkeeper for my little sister to pick out the perfect pair of underwear and finally get dressed. Every day was difficult with Amy and dressing; even back then she had a distinct taste and style, and even back then, I had none. I digress. My dad was a trooper.
Emily had a car wreck today, and mother called me today seeking counsel, "I'm depressed." And why did you call me? "I'm upset, Emily got in this wreck... she went on with other woes. And poor Emily, she's badly shaken, and this couldn't have come at a worse time for her.
A first year student at William Jewell died this past week in his dorm of seisures. He was a KA pledge who played baseball and apparently danced great for campus sing. The night before he died, Emily called him out in front of everyone and said, "he does it perfectly, everybody watch him dance." And now his body is immoble. They had an immediate service at Grand River the night they found out, and his close friends went. Emily said she couldn't believe the campus minister could stand up there and talk. She was amazed (and a wreck). There was another memorial the next day. Jewell cancelled Campus Sing and all points associated with homecoming this week. So she was already upset about her friend's tragic death and then she totaled her car.
Then there's Amy in med school. Her mac crashed last week, and to retrieve the 9 months of research on the hard drive it'll cost her $1900 and that's after a 10% off coupin, a student discount and a "man I feel sorry for you" discount. She feels guilty about mom and dad always helping out, and for her birthday in 14 days she's asked for no presents because she knows she's already such a financial burden on our parents. Oh the drama.
Parents are amazing. At least mine are. If I can muster up half the patience my father had with amy and her underwear, my mother has with emily's cars, and then there's my mixed up life...plus if I can be kind to my best friend who just lost her brother in a tractor accident (he left behind two high school daughters) and who has to take care of her mom who recently fell, hurting her hip....if I can attend my daughter's best-friend from high school's grandmother's Hindu funeral....If I can be what my parents are to these people...
If I can swing all that with even 1/10 the grace and authentic love, I'll be happy. Even if right now, they're all sad.
At least we have our health. (don't think of Emily's knee - surely it's not that bad)
And at least we all have each other to go through this with.
That's what I told my mother. Those two things. And I meant them.
I left at the funeral two weeks ago in Waco, a woman named Alice: a mother who has burried her husband and now both her children. She has only a grandchild and some great-grandchildren remaining.
We have each other. And we'll have Christmas to have a big insecurity cry fest and then we'll have the best of time making fun of each other, waching or participating in the final decorations (depending on who you are), going to the movies (at least two) and singing chrismas carols as we walk around the neighborhoods. We'll eat at Barbosa's and then we'll eat all of mom's and grandma's and Amy's delicious dishes and I'll gain five pounds. It'll be fabulous. I bought most of your presents in DC, the rest I'll get in South Austin of course.
And it'll be great to be back together again adults and animals alike. Oh the animals. I won't even go there.
But until then, in the wisdom of my younger sister, I will put on my prettiest, softest nightgown tonight and go to bed. So that I feel good enough about myself to take care of my family.
And tomorrow we will wake up to God's day. God's special day. And we will be reminded that through the heartache, the financial troubles, the car wrecks, the life wrecks, we have each other but most importantly we have God, who admittedly will not fix our problems, but help us through them. God's presence is everywhere. Look for Her calm spirit. Feel loved by His open arms. It will be good. Between the jammies and church, we'll be alright.
I love you.