Saturday, February 28, 2009

For Martine

This is a love letter to my sister #1, Martine, a way of sending you a squeeze so that you know, even from this distance, that your little hand is always in mine.

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This morning Laura began the practice by telling the story of her eyes. Ten years ago, her retinas detached and she was blind for 5 months. Throughout that period of blindness, she wished and wished to see the love in her mother's face, to see color, to see the beauty of the world around us. The surgery that she had to restore her vision has left her with lingering pain which, at its most acute, serves as a constant reminder of the blessing of her restored sight. It is so easy to take it for granted, and when her pain is strongest, she remembers to appreciate and feel grateful and celebrate.

The dark reminds us of the light, underscores the brightness. When the heart is cloaked, she said, may we remember the graceful upturned foot of Shiva, showing us the way back up, the way out, the way back.

Of course, these were the words I most needed to hear this morning. And I thought you might appreciate them, too.

In the midst of this darkness we are in right now with Carla and her diagnosis and all of the other shit that has come with it, may we remember the good, the sweet, the beautiful of our life. May we use it to shine out all the brighter, to do more good and add more joy.

Out of this darkness I am celebrating my good fortune to have you as my sister, to feel the power of our kinship and deep gratitude to our parents.

Yes, this situation sucks and I wish it weren't true that we are now contemplating the loss of Carla from our lives so much sooner than we ever could have imagined. So let's sing *now*, let's not wait. Let's remember, through the haze of cancer and chemo and death, that we have is so very sweet.

All my love to you.

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