Monday, November 29, 2010

recently, a very close friend of my oldest sister (karen, pictured with me in the nike hat) lost her youngest sister after a long battle with a serious illness. my heart cannot even fathom such a loss. it is impossible to picture my life without any of my siblings in it. my heart breaks for karen's friend (who is more like family). i wish i had one word, one hug, one way other than bringing that sister back that would remove the hole that is now a part of liz's heart.

it didn't take hearing of this loss to put my life in perspective, nor did it cause me to love or appreciate my siblings any more than i already do- because honestly, each and every single day i grow ever more in love with my siblings. but this loss did give me pause. it compelled me to reflect on each of them, what they mean to me, all that we've been through together, all that we've celebrated together.

maybe it's the time of year that draws me into this reflective mood as well. certainly the loss of our mom brought us even closer to one another (if that's possible). and the holidays invariably bring back some of our most cherished memories of mom- who loved this time of year more than anyone i've ever known.

my brother and i, my sisters and i- we haven't skated through our own relationships. they have withstood their own hurts and come through with the grace of forgiveness that seems to be both harder and easier to bestow on family. what i realized today is that no time, no distance, no discord, can ever change the unbreakable bond that is uniquely ours. that each of them in their uniqueness is uniquely loved by me. fully embraced exactly as they are, flaws and imperfections, differences and likenesses. there are never moments (even when i am frustrated or angry) that my love is even slightly diminished for one of them. i suspect in those moments i actually learn to love them and myself more deeply, more fully.

i don't take what we have together and individually for granted. i know how rare it is to be a part of a larger family and find among those siblings the closest of friends (who may not have chosen one another were it not for being brought together in family).

each of them holds a sacred place in my heart. each of them is cherished in a way no others are in my life.

this song is for you, my brother- brad, my sisters- kim and karen. i hope you will pause with me, and find a quiet space to listen to every last lyric.

and it goes out to liz, who has lost a piece of her own heart.


  1. Box of tissue please. Brings to mind a favorite gathering on a hotel bed at Margaret's wedding, JUST the 4 of us. I love you guys very much and I love this "tribute" to Anne (in reflection) 'cause Liz truly is family. XOXO

  2. So sorry to hear of Karen's friend. My heart and prayers go out to the family experiencing this incomprehensible loss.

    On another note, I really like that first picture. Your mom and all the siblings:0) There's so much I can say regarding that first pic that I'd keep you here a whole day reading my comments. I do know this: Some people who have passed on should not have gone so prematurely. Your mom, your friend's sis- this type of loss to me will always have me asking "Why?" (I'm all too aware of the many cliche and tempting responses one typically gives to the question of "Why?") At least my grandmother was given the blessing of living twenty days shy of her 90th birthday. Even she would have acknowledge that her life had been a long one. But us who stay behind it's never enough time. Losing someone, regardless of how gradually and serenely they go, is ALWAYS brutal.

  3. Beautiful, beautiful words.
    I feel the same way about my brother and sister. How blessed are we? Thanks for the reminder. :)

  4. I cannot imagine losing a sibling. It's hard enough losing a friend.

  5. I can not thank you enough for the gentle reminder to check in today...wish it would have come with a tissue warning, however. Like you, K, I can't even begin to imagine what life without one of you would be fact, I can't like even thinking about it...

    In many ways I find myself thanking God more and more for the disfunction that we grew up with...for if it weren't for that I don't know that the four of us would have experienced the depth of love that we do today. The pictures are PERFECT. The one of you and BJ made me almost burst into just needed SIRKY in it! :)

    Mom WAS, despite what she communicated/or didn't, so proud of us.

    I look forward to listening to the this computer has no sound.

    We continue to storm heaven with prayers for Lizz, Anne, and family.

    I love you, Kitchu

  6. Oh, and by the way, K and we see a bit of Craig in that first picture of BJ...or is that just me?

  7. I struggled mightily even to write a simple comment. I have three brothers, none of whom I am particularly close with. Living overseas has made it even more difficult to maintain any semblance of relationship. Some day when we have the time and live in the same place, maybe we can work on rekindling what we felt for each other in our childhood days...