Last week, my sister crossed the continent to come see us.
Her flight ran late; then, her plane made a planned stop in the middle of the country and was late again. She rented a car at the airport and drove the few hours to my house. By the time she arrived she must have been so much more exhausted than she let on.
Now she’s here, spending these days and nights reading to my baby, sleeping on my couch, talking and talking and talking with me. We have laughed this week to the point of silence; we have talked to try and make sense of the world. My child, of course, has fallen in love with her.
Never in a million years did I think I would go 25 months without seeing my sister, who I admire and adore; never in a million years did I think I would go even longer without seeing my brother, who I love the same. But here we are, separated partially because of geography but mainly because we all have young children, mainly because we have to keep them safe.
She leaves today, and will do that long trip in reverse – driving and taking off and landing and taking off and landing – before finally walking in her door late, late at night. It will be very hard to watch her pull out of my driveway; the pandemic taught me that I can’t say for sure when I will see her again. I hope it will be soon.
I know how lucky I am, to have a relationship where I feel better when my sister is nearby. As I wrote in a card to her last night, she has been an anchor for me my entire life. It doesn’t much matter if we are together or not, though the former is so much more fun.
In the end, the continent between us is just an inconvenience, an annoyance. It cannot touch the bond we have; it cannot take away this friendship. I know she is there. She knows I am here. And we both know that we are already excited for the next time we are in the same room, laughing and talking and doing our best to figure out the world, together.