On 02 April 2021, my sister Joyce came to Northern California.
She came to see me; to forestall my creeping homesickness; to make sure her little sister could still smile. While here, we laughed more than I have laughed since moving west. We rolled our eyes at pathetically bad service in a Half Moon Bay restaurant. Presents made their way from my hands to hers; and from her suitcase to my carry bag. Thrift stores yielded treasures beneath her expert eyes. Friends raised glasses in common praise of camaraderie. Family dynamics succumbed to thoughtful scrutiny and frank remark.
My sister Joyce went back to St. Louis on 06 April 2021. On the following day, she got her second vaccination shot for Covid-19. In nine days, she will turn 71. She outpaced me at every turn during her time with me. She had exponentially more energy, stamina, and liveliness. She spoke with gentler tones. She proved herself to be magnanimous and generous, which I knew but the depth of which I had not experienced since I last lived in the Midwest.
When I pulled away from the departure gate at the Sacramento airport, my heart endured a curious sensation of lightness overshadowed by an understanding that one of my guiding lights had receded back into the distant sky. I will have to be content with her voice on the phone; her Social Media comments; and the occasional e-mail. These cannot quite convey the depth of her beauty, the breadth of her courage, or her steadfast loyalty. But such crumbs as I can garner will have to suffice until we meet again. I will consume them with the rabid passion of the parched and starving brought into a hall of plenty.
It’s the eighth day of the eighty-eighth month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.
Prayer To A Sister
There might be a knot
In a clump of hair
At the back of my head.
Will you unsnarl it
except whatever giggles
we share at my instigation?
Oh my sister
Do not make me feel
Ashamed of my nakedness.
Wrap yourself around me.
Clothe me with your
Scenes from the Weekend with My Sister. Scroll over the individual photos for short captions.
All words and images are copyright C. Corley 2021