On Saturday last I was sitting on the sofa enjoying a phone conversation with my Dad and a sit down after a 5 hour cleaning spree. I was alone in the house as Stephen had taken the boys off for a hardware store shop and I’d opted to stay at home and finish cleaning the house in preparation for my in-laws arriving in a few days.
When the garage door banged I assumed it was one of the kids but when I called out and no one answered, I didn’t think much of it. That is until my sister walked into the room. That might not sound like a big deal if you are used to your family being nearby but I hadn’t seen my sister in the flesh for 3 years, not since she surprised me last time after Neirin’s birth!
According to my Dad (who was in on it and had timed his phone call so he could listen in on my surprise) the phone dropped and all he could hear was “Oh my god!” for about 15 minutes. I did eventually remember that my Dad was on the phone but not before squeezing the life out of my sister and crying all over her a goodly amount.
There are some states of bliss that cannot be captured in words and having my sister here with me for a week was one of them. Just knowing that she’d spent a year planning it, that she took a week off work and presumably sold a couple of cats into indentured slavery to pay for the tickets, warmed my old cockles. It was lovely to share our life with her, in big and small ways. Pointing out things during a car journey, knowing that she’ll remember and have a visual image when I’m describing our comings and goings during one of our mammoth phone calls. Having her support during each day, making it all go a little lighter and smoother.
But we also had our big adventures, some special days that will live long in my memory. A wonderfully relaxing day at the spa (courtesy of my parent’s in law who looked after the boys for the day) and a fantastic outing to Montreal were two major high points. But even a trip to a book store or supermarket felt special with my sister along. There is always something to find funny, or interesting, or both when she is around.
Despite the fact that she is younger, cooler, thinner, funnier, more artistic, sane and generally stylish than I am, I really enjoy having my sister around. I think it is a testament to her winning personality that all of the above traits don’t put me off her completely, but somehow she manages to be one of my most favouritest people in the world. And as the photos above testify I wasn’t the only one to enjoy her company. The boys adored her patient attentiveness and couldn’t seem to show her enough, play with her enough, talk to her enough. I know how they feel.
This last week seems to have gone by in fast forward and filmed in technicolour. Each moment a bright highlight, too many to even list (though starting off Helen’s very own vintage pyrex collection was a proud and happy time for me), despite feeling that it went be far too quickly we seemed to manage to cram an enormous amount into a too short time.
crying uncontrollably saying goodbye at the airport (for 45 minutes) I knew a piece of my heart was leaving. There is no one in my life quite like my sister, nor will there ever be. She is unique and occupies her own space within me, despite being teeny she really manages to elbow herself quite a lot of room in there. But I know that the chilly, empty space left by her departing is somewhat filled by the little piece of herself that remains with me. A piece I will hold tight for comfort until the next time we are together. Too far away, but always anticipated.
We all miss you bean, we’ll see you soon xxx