Yesterday my Mum and Dad celebrated thirty-three years of marriage. Dad flew down to my great-aunt's in Florida to spend the weekend with Mum. Happy Anniversary, guys! :)
Today is the day my little sister would have turned twenty-six years old. In about an hour I am going to make sure to look at the sky again, to keep up my accidental tradition of observing spectacular sunsets on her birthday every year.
It's been cold and raining for three days straight, and today dawned warm and sunny with bright, puffy clouds. As we were wrapping up our errands, heavy gray clouds rolled in and we had a ten-minute rainstorm, followed immediately by more sunshine. Porch weather, but we don't have a porch. Instead, the three of us hung out in the kitchen with the shades all pulled up while I cooked us a late lunch.
My great-aunt is not doing well. The cancer has spread and has become untreatable. Her tumors got bigger instead of smaller. She can barely eat or drink and right now she has round-the-clock hospice care to manage the pain. It's just a matter of when her body takes its final breath and gives in, sending her soul shooting to the clouds so she can be with her husband again, and her great-niece Amber and her brother (my grandfather) and her mom and dad.
Like last year, I did not dwell on Amber's absence like I have my whole life before that. In fact today I did not even think of it being her birthday at all until I had some quiet time to myself while Gabe bathed Liam and I noticed the angle of the sun. Then I remembered the clouds today, the sun, the short rainfall, and that rush of wind that preceded it as we walked from the car to our front door. I inhaled it especially deeply. I'm sure she was in that wind, and I'm sure my great-aunt Christine* will chase her soon.
They'll fly through trees and across fields and ruffle our hair. Free free free.
*real name used