I have logged onto my blog every day for a week now, and sat here, staring at the screen. Even wrote a few paragraphs and deleted them–I know, I know, I swore off the delete key in my first post.
My sister has set up a blog called "Got Kidney?" (the link is there on my sidebar, by the way) because her husband's kidneys have failed. Sort of out of the blue–strong, healthy, thirty year old man, and his kidneys quit. So I write a few paragraphs. And then I delete it all, and I go read Ginger's blog. I laugh, because even in trouble, she's funny. And I cry.
There is something about her blog–this experience that is life altering. In such a strange way. Our family is one of those families that should be really close, and hasn't been. No reason. I have seen my sister two or three times in the last fifteen years. Sure, we live really far apart. I think it takes something like 24 hours to drive it, and since 9/11 you need a passport to fly into Canada–and who can afford passports for a family of eight, let alone tickets.
Anyway, all three times, she has come this way–once all the way, twice met us halfway. I've never seen her flower beds, or the new deck or fence or anything else Jay has built for her. She's wanted us to come up, but how? I have always thought. How, with six kids, and yeah, this is the first year we've had a van that we could drive out of town. And it's not like I didn't want to go, but I did ever feel like I NEEDED to go. She understood what I haven't.
But now. Now I—I don't know. Even my sister here in town. We talk most days. We occasionally have a holiday dinner over there. But now, I'm thinking, why do I not even know her kids? Why are we so . . . casual in our family relationships? I NEED to be there now. I need this now. And I'm sorry. Sorry to whoever deserves this apology–that I haven't recognized that I needed you before. Sorry that I never made the effort.
I have a present for my niece. I've carried it around in my purse, for heaven's sake, for almost a year. And every day I think, I should mail that. Just out of the blue, I should mail that for no reason whatsoever and make a thirteen year old girl's day–and then I think, nah. I should wait for her birthday in July. And now her Dad is so sick, and my gift seems ridiculous. Had I mailed it a month ago, or six months ago, it would have made her day and it would have been a jumping place for a genuine relationship with my neice. Sincere, because it was a gift without any reason at all beyond, hey, I think you're a cool kid, you know? Now it will just seem like a pathetic attempt at condolences or something.
Why is it, again, that I don't listen to that voice that prompts me to do these things?