10.15.14 Because of Her

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So you may or may not be surprised to realize that I did not spend most of my time writing this post, but rather, choosing a photograph for it.  And I can say honestly, it’s because of her.  That beautiful girl beside me – my sister.  Because whenever I found a picture that was of the two of us, my first thought was, what would she think about it?  And I’d move on … because you do that for your sister … because she’d do it for you.  Today is my sister’s birthday, and I am dedicating what I’ve got to say to her, for the simple reason that she is the reason I have anything to say at all.  

Elizabeth Fischel once said that, “Your sister is both your mirror – and your opposite,” but I would like to modify that a little.  My sister isn’t my mirror or my opposite, she’s the reflection I wish I saw when I looked in the mirror.  She is the glimpse of all the good things I can see about myself.  She is the reason my smile is a little brighter, the reason my eyes can hold a twinkle of mischief and the reason I always know everything is going to be okay, even when it isn’t.  Because of her, whatever “it” is, I’m okay.

I was recently talking to a friend of mine who grew up without a sister.  She asked me what it was like and I told her in the best words I could find.  Having a sister means having someone in your life who so completely “gets you” that you are never afraid of being lost again, because you know she’ll find you wherever you are – and bring you home. 

Quite some time ago, I wrote a poem about being “found.”  It’s a piece about realizing that whether or not you wanted to, life caught up with you in ways you wouldn’t have anticipated.  It is about trying to be yourself in times where you can hardly recognize who that is.  And it is about the redemption of being “found” and made whole again by the grace of those God decidedly puts in your way. 

FOUND

I have found,
(in my limited experience of finding)
that life
is worth
the struggle
That things like optimism, brotherhood and benefit-of-doubt
still have a place among this place
and time
It could be said I’m just naive,
and once, I was
But fortunately,
my unfortunate moments have indeed proven that life
isn’t
easy,
and so naivety is no longer my reason why

It’s true, that early on it was simple to be
just
because
Because my path was lit with golden strands that showed me where to go
and faces
and chances
seemed to make their way to me
Back then, there was no such thing as making up a mind
when I thought I knew it all

And my smiles then were breezy,
and I gave advice out freely
and I didn’t have a silver-lineless cloud
It was common then,
to look at life as though it were my game
until one day
it showed me
I could lose

For the first time I saw clearly
the haze and mis-perception
of perfection here
that no longer
existed
The enchantment of ideas like

later,
soon,
or “someday,” lost their glimmer
and I felt my sparkle
just
begin
to fade

But in that in-between…
past “Who am I?”
“Where am I going?”
and
“What do I do now?”
I realized, that some people

the right people

whether they’d been lost
or not
were waiting for me
to be right where I was
exactly who I was
accepting me for all they knew I could be

The graces of life
are the people you meet in it
those God sent
to bring out the potential you’d
never
realize alone

And so I don’t say
naively
that life is worth the struggle
I say
from the other side of lost
that found
is bringing others
to the light you know

For every time I have been broken, for every time I have gone astray or allowed myself to wander, I never got too far before she found me.  My sister is my compass; she is my North Star pointing me back to where I need to be.  Even a small amount of her light is enough to keep me strong.  She once quoted E.E. Cummings to me and said, “I carry your heart, I carry it in my heart.”  And that’s why I know I’m safe.  It’s all because … of her.

Literarily yours,

 

Elle

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