|Dad taking a picture of Mom taking a picture of Dad.|
So yesterday my sister Kate came for a visit.
It was a quick, but wonderful visit. We had such a great time. Delicious dinner, coffee date, beach time, walks, Cajun Kitchen breakfast, laughter, and good conversations. And there was a fair amount of picture taking.
But my favorite part of Kate's visit was late last night, when we sat together and looked through album after album of our family photos.
Our family history is a difficult one to recall - most notably our mother died of breast cancer when I was 18, Kate 16, and our father died six years after her. They weren't married when she died, they'd divorced long before, but were still great friends with endless inside jokes that marked a friendship that originated in their awkward middle school/high school days and continued right to the end.
When my mom was sick and had secretly (from the kids) been told that her days were numbered, my dad did a video project with her - a few hours at a time he would ask her random questions ranging from how she was feeling that day, to what she wanted us girls to know down the road. It really goes without saying that these DVDs are such a gift. They didn't film more than 4 or 5 discs, and most of the time it's just them sparring and joking around, but I love them.
Last night Kate and I went through all the old photos and watched our parents laugh, joke, cry, and attempt to pass on their own bizarre wisdom. It was such a meaningful experience for us - we wheezed and laughed hysterically at our awkward kid photos, and praised our parents for their truly old school hipster looks. We marveled at how young they looked. We soaked in the sound of our mother laughing and our dad's sarcastic, drawling tone from behind the camera.
And it hit us all over again - I have mom's laugh. Kate has mom's hands, we both have dad's nose. We share jokes, mannerisms, crinkled foreheads and a certain sort of resiliency that can't be forgotten, no matter how many years we've been apart.
I am so blessed. I am so grateful. Every single day is an absolute gift, and yesterday with my sister felt like an extra big, triple decker present with a huge bow.
Love you sis.