I have another sister who arrived an hour ago. This is a sister who is still swallowing salt water from residual divorce waves. She is a mother. She is alone. And most of the time her life is very, very hard. She burst through my front door with her little boys in tow and we sat at my kitchen table for awhile, eating lunch and catching up. But soon I noticed my sister beginning to wilt around the edges. So, I led her upstairs and tucked her into my bed. I grabbed the noise maker from the baby's room and turned on thunder and rain for her to listen to. I tucked the blankets around her and quietly eased the door closed.
I can hear our children playing in the basement. We are usually a house geared toward girl games, but its amazing how easily little boys can be introduced into the mix. Suddenly there are pirates, princes, wild wolves and astronauts. The princesses seem pleased with this change of pace. The smell of french dip sandwiches in the crock pot is starting to fill the house, and I've just finished chopping vegetables and stirring them into Texas caviar. Peanut butter bars are up next, and then homemade macaroni and cheese.
I'm so proud of my sisters, so happy to be part of this weekend. To the one getting married I feel like I'm sending her off. Making final preparations for her bridal shower tomorrow, and deciding which shoes I should wear to the reception. To the other sister I'm simply trying to offer her a few minutes of rest. Come sit at my table. Put your feet up and let me get you a cold drink. My beautiful, strong, albeit weary traveler has finally come home.
I went over to the crock pot to stir the roast beef and the tile beneath my feet felt warm like the concrete patio next to a swimming pool in the middle of summer. The afternoon sun is tossing splashes of sunshine all over my kitchen tile and it is all the decoration we need. There is so much to be grateful for, so much to celebrate. I might need to re-read this post in about thirty-six hours when we're all overtired and under slept, but for now, this is what it means to be in a big family that is doing its best to support one another, regardless of circumstance. This is what happiness feels like.