I carried to South Korea a spiral-bound notebook with a silver dragonfly on its cover.
My friends had filled it with encouragement and recollections of shared memories meant to sustain me through lonely times.
The love behind their words has sustained me through so much more than my season in South Korea.
Last night I heard one of my sisters let herself into my house as I washed bottles.
My baby was asleep. My five-year-old was so immersed in Doc McStuffins that he barely noticed her arrival.
Amelia joined me in the kitchen. When I stepped away from the sink to make salad, she took over at the sink and started washing dishes. Read more…
Sometimes it’s easy to miss the glory in small moments.
This afternoon, I saw one such moment for what it really was: the culmination of millions of choices made in very particular order to bring a tiny band of people together beneath the Los Angeles sun.
For one the two people pictured here, some of those choices included: Read more…
“I love you!” I shouted to my younger brother as he walked toward the airport a couple of hours ago. “Thanks for being such a great uncle!”
He smiled awkwardly and waved once more before disappearing into the airport. I teared up as I pulled away, wishing I could have him closer a little while longer. Three days wasn’t enough.
My sister celebrated her ten-year wedding anniversary two weeks ago. I wrote about that here, but neglected to mention one important thing: that she and her husband would be celebrating it with me.
After a family walk, they left their daughter with me and enjoyed a couple of beers at a local beer house. My sister, unused to drinking, was plastered after only a couple of beers. Her messages to that effect were adorable.
The weekend flew. We managed neither our planned trip to Disneyland nor an outing to a bridal boutique to shop for dresses, yet not all was a wash. Knowing my sister, brother-in-law and niece were all just a room away made for much sounder than usual sleep. Listening to my son attempt negotiations with his younger cousin made me chuckle: “You have to be quiet, A. That’s the deal! That’s how you get to sleep in my room. That’s the deal!” A trip to the ocean made me feel my mom was especially close, for even our junker cars could usually make it to the Oregon coast on a pocketful of change.
The weekend after my sister left, our dear, mutual friend Sarah came to visit. My fiancee and Sarah’s husband, whom both
Silver Star Rache and I consider our non-biological brother, agreed to watch our kiddos so Sarah and I could go bridal dress shopping. Read more…
A week and a half ago, I recounted in this entry the amazing, ongoing impact being both a Little and a Big through Big Brothers Big Sisters has had on my life. Today, my first Little Sister shares her experiences with this phenomenal program. Both of us urge you to consider joining this program, the benefits of which will likely extend–for both Big and Little!–well beyond its one-year commitment.
* * *
I often see a confused face when I mention my sister Deb. I try to describe her as a mentor but that just doesn’t quite do her justice. Hopefully if any of my friends read this they will finally know who I’m talking about when I tell them I’m going to visit my sis for a week.
I remember the day I realized I wanted/needed a big sister. I watched as my (biological) older sister left for a visit with who I understood to be her mentor or “big sister.” After she left I remember asking my mom if I could have a mentor too. I recall thinking something to the effect of “if my sister is under that lady’s wing then whose wing am I gonna be under?” This was the first time it occurred to me that you could in some sense adopt a sister. I think I was 9 years old when Deb and I were paired together through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. My visits with Deb were a very positive outlet for me; they always gave me something to look forward to.
As Deb mentioned, we had many trips to the sub shop. (I still get peppermint fro-yo with gummy bears when I go.) Sometimes I would come along and watch her martial arts class at the Dojo. Other times we’d watch movies, or go sit at the fountain on campus. She’d let me tag along with her and her friends (which she also still does now). She took me to watch my first basketball game AND my first baseball game. She made me a mix tape full of songs front and back; a few of my favorites were Wild World and Forever Young. My writing abilities don’t allow me to do these memories much justice but my heart is full thinking about them. :)
At some point along the timeline Deb moved away to Korea. We kept in touch for a while, and then fell out of touch, as people often do as time goes on. But thankfully I ran into her sister at the Lane County Fair and we were reunited years later when I was a teen! Seeing Deb for the first time in a long time was a great feeling, despite how much time had passed, we were still at our cores very much the same. It was that great feeling of seeing an old friend and instantly feeling at home.
I am now 21 years old and still blessed with this wonderful sister and friend. Little did I know when I was 9 that at 19 I’d be flying in an airplane for my first time to visit her in Los Angeles! I enjoy as much as ever our heartfelt conversations about our lives and life in general. I am enjoying an ever deepening friendship with my big sister . . . and now that I’m writing this I realize I will mostly likely soon become a big sister myself . . .