Pretty Little Bow

I had three weeks’ notice to plan for the trip to see my sister become a wife, but it only took two days for the mailman to deliver my lace dress. I rummaged through my daughters’ and husband’s closets for something to match.

The ten-hour drive resulted in my children fighting over which movies to watch and who got to eat the last gummy shark. They also shared laughter from the bottom of their bellies.

In Toledo, the groom found the rings he lost, and I ran across a sheet of ice to collect the bouquets I forgot in the car. The bride smiled.

After two families tied a bow to become one, we celebrated with pasta and Peroni.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Join me at this week’s YeahWrite challenge!

Time again.

I pushed myself out of bed this morning and blinked, closing one eye to focus on the bright red numbers staring back at me.  It was only 4:48 a.m.

I still had time.

With a fresh tear already stinging my sleep-deprived eyes, I stumbled down the stairs, covered in pillow-y soft carpet.  The feel of it made me want to find my covers and return to a state of slumber, but I pressed on.  I moved one foot in front of the other until I found the bottom of the stairs, the cold dining room floor and my little sister standing with bags packed beside her.  I grabbed her, hugging her tight so the smell of her shampoo would linger a bit longer.  I had to talk my mind into letting her go from that hug because, like always, I knew my heart would be empty when she was gone.  Miles and miles stretch between us and kids, spouses and careers keep it that way.  We do our best to keep the girls close, but the little time we make never seems like enough.

The only words my mouth managed were, “I love you.”  I swept hot tears away with my finger while still in her embrace.  I didn’t want her to see me cry again.  I cautiously let go of her, taking note of her dark chocolate eyes and her long, caramel colored hair.  Her half smile gave way to something, either lack of sleep or sadness, but I couldn’t make it out at the early hour.

Quickly waving, I walked back up the stairs and found my dark, warm bed.

But my arms and legs couldn’t find the comfort between those blankets anymore, now made of sandpaper instead of soft cotton.  My eyes kept drifting open to thoughts left unsaid, hanging in the air like ghosts.  The makings of a hole were already starting to appear in my heart, a fleshy wound from not being near her.

My head was swimming and I needed to see her with my eyes, now wide with anticipation, one more time before she left to board that plane.

I jumped back out of bed and shuffled quickly down the stairs with a racing heart, but when I reached the bottom of the stairs, something was different.  The only thing waiting for me this time was the cold wood floor and a dark, empty space, much like the one now forming deep in my heart.

The only sounds were those of a clock ticking, tick-tock, tick-tock, the dishwasher running, swish-swish, swish-swish, and my heart pounding furiously in my ears, bang-bang, bang-bang!

No sister.

No tiny niece.

Only me, my girls sleeping soundly in their respective rooms and my home, now returning to it’s everyday routine.  I sighed, defeated by time, once again.  I pulled out my laptop, poured a steamy cup of coffee and began to write.


Miracle of Life. Circle of Life.

How is it that someone so tiny, who I never even knew before just a couple weeks ago, can touch my heart so fondly?  How can I love this tiny miracle so much?  I want to protect her, despite the many miles between us.  I am not incredibly spiritual, by any means, but I do believe in God and he has created someone special in my brand new baby niece.

She is beautiful and fragile.  Sweet and innocent.  She smells like any other delicious little baby and I feel as though I could literally snuggle her all day.  Getting to visit my sister and this tiny little girl was a blessing.  It made me appreciate life and family so much more.  She is, without even trying, teaching me to be a better person.

Then I look at my own beautiful daughter, who turns FOUR today (OH MY…) and it makes me love her more as well.  She is the most intelligent, independent, beautiful and spunky little girl I know.  She loves with her entire heart.  She has more empathy than most adults I know.  She has an incredible imagination and a love for art.  She has a pretty voice when she sings and her smile melts my heart every time.  And although she challenges me occasionally and gives me gray hairs, I love her to pieces.  My life would be incomplete without her by my side.

I know if my mom was with us today she would be overjoyed with these two beautiful girls and the jobs that my sister and I are doing as mothers.  Although I understand and accept the fact that she is no longer here on this green Earth, I really do wish she was here to offer up some of her motherly advice on occasion and witness our daughters growing up.

With all of this on my mind; my daughter’s birthday, my sister’s new baby and my mom not here to witness it, I have a real understanding of the circle of life on this morning.  Life goes on.  Happy times are always around the corner.  And even though our time is temporary here we need to appreciate.  We need to love.  We need to take it all in and make the very best of each day.

P.S. Happy birthday, Reagan!  Mommy loves you more than you will ever know!