Monday, September 17, 2012


Today I was at my brother's house. I was searching for my husband and my son, who was pushing his little lawnmower around the neighborhood. As I turned a corner and looked up I saw this little piece of land.

It stopped me in my tracks. It felt like it was three years ago. It felt like heaven. This little spot is where this picture was taken three years earlier.

As I stared at it I could feel us there, laughing, joking, so excited. It was more than feeling like it was just yesterday that the picture was taken. It felt like it was today, now. As if we were all there while simultaneously all being where we are now, three years later. That was a special day. Through a serious of random events and some tricky maneuvering we were able to get our entire family together for one hour. Just one hour. And we made sure to have a photographer there at the same time. This was no small feat given that at that time our family was stretched across two countries and four different states. It had been years since all the original siblings and my parents had been together. And since we had added new family members through marriage and birth since then in reality we had never all been together before. Part of the tricky maneuvering meant that I needed to leave work early. My sister came to pick me up and when we arrived at my brothers house the whole place let out a cheer. It wasn't for me, it was because I was last to arrive, and with that we were now complete. It was a happy, happy time. We were laughing and joking and for the most part completely carefree.

Looking back on that picture now I know that cancer was already in my sister. That it had already spread from her breast to her lungs, her liver and her bones. But on that warm summer day we didn't have any idea. And we were happy. So happy.

It was hard for me to leave that place. Three years later it still seemed so close. And I knew that it really wasn't. That things were so different now. I longed to live in that day forever and I felt that as long as I stayed looking at that little piece of ground it might just be possible.

Back at the house I found this.

That little beauty on my sisters lap is my new daughter. She didn't exist three years ago on that warm summer day. Neither did her big brother. As I watched my sister rock her (eventually sound asleep) I realized that life is hard and scary and sad. But it is also still beautiful.

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