Loving my Sister

Has becoming a senior citizen mellowed my sister?

I honestly dare not write about the good fortune of my sister, as I fear I will jinx it.

You know how my family is about OBA (the Old Bitch Above) and her unpredictable ways: ‘don’t get too comfortable, god knows what is around the corner’. That was the actual philosophy we were brought up on.

But I think I do have to write something. It feels amiss to leave my blog with my last sad posts regarding my schizophrenic and once drug addicted sister.

She has, in fact, been living without crack and off the street since last spring. She has gained weight and is thinking about quitting smoking, and for the first time ever, sent me a Christmas gift this year.

It is all very miraculous. And if I am very close to turning sixty, that means that this year she must be turning 65 years old. Is it the mellowing into old age that my mom always hoped for, dreamed of? I hope my Mom knows.

According to Kate, Mom is in the picture. She has regularly talks with Mom. And knowing both Kate, and Mom, I am leaning towards believing that they are actually in contact. Just today I had a nice chat with my sister over Facetime and she said something about telling mom to stop entering into other people and trying to be them. She told mom to take a rest and sleep in her bed.

I stuck up for Mom on this one. I said that Mom was just having fun and she liked having adventures. Kate nodded wisely. We know. If anyone is going to hang around after death and creep about in people’s lives, it would be Mom. She was terribly curious. I inherited that trait. I may hang around too, if that is an option. (Just saying).

But my sister. She is just the same as ever. Funny, sweet, generous and loving. She is also not on crack. And I have not seen her off drugs in so many years, I am surprised to see her calm and healthy and not agitated and skeletal. Her eyes are gentle and warm, and look just like my older brothers’ eyes. Full of warmth and wit.

She sent a package for Christmas this year, and told me what it was before she wrapped and sent it. It’s wind chimes, she said with a satisfied look, knowing it was a perfect gift for me.

I do like wind chimes. I put the present under the tree anyway and waited till Christmas to open it. She shook her head at that, why wouldn’t I just open it already? Funny Meg, what a silly.

On Christmas I lifted the jingly present and unwrapped it happily. The last time Kate would have bought me a present I was probably a teen. Out fell a tinkling collection of chimes, with a lovely blue glass cross at the top, from which all the chimes hung.

Hold on. A huge blue cross. A very pretty blue that would let the sun through, a lovely sky blue the color of summer, but a cross.

I have never worn a cross or displayed a cross. What crazy person sent me a cross? My sister did. And so it turns out the gift was a surprise after all. I was certainly surprised.

When I told her I loved my present her eyes filled with pride and delight. So much of giving and gifts is the process of love. The action of love.

I later asked her about the cross and she said, I didn’t think you would mind. It’s your colour. And so I thought about hanging it up. Its only a symbol. A very old symbol that holds a tremendous amount of meaning for people, but simply a symbol.

Can I hang a Star of David nearby to dilute its power and maybe an ancient swastika from a design created from before the second world war? Will a collection of symbols express my proper intellectual distance from the sign of the cross?

I don’t know. But I do know that love will triumph and I will hang the wind chime.

Will it lead the neighbours to new opinions? Probably. But that’s OK. When I stopped drinking alcohol, because of my blasted stomach, I got the distinct impression that the small village I live in decided I must have been an alcoholic before I quit.

That’s fine. What can you do about ‘misinformation’? Once people make up their minds, they see what they want to see. We live in a world of illusion, assumptions and downright lies. But we muddle through.

Let people think what they want. I can hang a cross on my porch and not believe in Jesus. In any case, Jesus is not important.

As all the best Christian’s know, it’s all about Love.

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