It’s raining outside this afternoon. The sky is a dull gray, a few robins are chirping in the trees, and I can see the slow, steady pattern of a light shower outside this second-story window.
A few minutes ago, two boys walked in front of our house, heads down but side-by-side, making their way home from the pool, wet but getting even more so. They reminded me of the days of piano lessons, so many years ago…
My sister and I took lessons from Mrs. Good who was not very good, but she lived at least 14 blocks from Dad’s gas station. Our lessons happened to be on Saturday mornings, so Mom would drop us off at the gas station at 6th and Main first thing and then go on to work. Angela and I would spend part of the morning washing windshields and dusting under cans of oil stacked in pyramids or take turns playing with the adding machine on the desk before grabbing our piano bags to walk the 14+ blocks to Mrs. Good who was not very good. We would avoid the cracks “so we wouldn’t break our mama’s back,” and there was a house on Adams Street with a tennis court that we always walked by and wished we were rich enough to have a tennis court.
I remember the walks back to the gas station when Angela would have to console me because Mrs. Good was not very good and I left her house crying, or when we both couldn’t wait to get back to the gas station because Daddy would give us money to walk to McDonalds for lunch or he would treat us to Zaki’s or the Royal Inn buffet. We would take turns carrying the heavy piano book bag and wish we didn’t have so many piano books…
There were many moments of our sisterhood that were unpleasant – we were four years apart in age, and I was an annoying little sister. However, Saturday mornings, we were like peanut butter and jelly. Two sisters on a walk, looking out for each other, or actually, older sister looking out for little sister.
I feel like I have several sisters these days, walking beside me on days when good is not very good or when I am all wet and just trying to get home.
I am grateful today for Elaine who responds quite often to my writing with encouraging words and understands this desire to put my thoughts and feelings onto paper.
I am grateful for Linda who emails me almost daily with stories that make me laugh, with picture memes that pierce the soft spots of my heart, with devotions that she knows will mean much.
I am grateful for a phone call with Geri today and her invitation to visit when we can get away. We are far way from each other but I know she is right by my side, and I know she understands.
I am grateful for Michelle, the crazy sister, because she knows everything about me and loves me no matter the ugly, and she is okay with me not being so crazy and still hangs out with me even though I am the boring one.
I am grateful for gratefuls from Chris this morning, gratefuls that made my heart leap because she gets it, too, and because she loves french fries.
I am grateful for Joyce who checks on us and is that older sister/shake her finger at me/ tsk tsk nurse with a heart as big as Dallas.
I am grateful for Julie who is like a little sister without the annoying part, who, like me, loves birds and trees and daughters and was a connection from the first minute I met her in a corner of a big room full of scary people.
I am grateful for Karen who looks out for us and is one of the most gracious and generous women I have ever known, who wears her heart on her sleeve just like me, who is only two months older but is 12 years wiser…
And I am grateful for my piano-lesson-taking, walking sister who has been walking with me all these years, who started me on this routine back in 2011 of counting at least three things for which to be grateful every single day. She knew that on days when good was not very good, I would need a companion to avoid cracks with, a friend to dream tennis court dreams with, a sister to listen as I cry my big tears on the long walk home.