I LIKE THAT my second oldest sister, Colette, called on Christmas Eve. We hadn’t spoken to each other in three years.
Her voice ignited starbursts of memories in me. I imagined her animated hand movements as a display of her joie de vivre (joy of life). In my mind’s eye, I could see her short curly hair, big brown eyes, round nose, and her thin laughing lips. I listened to her enthusiastic voice describe how she and her husband, Hans, needed to take a break from their North Bay home on Lake Nipissing in Ontario. I thought it interesting that she wanted to be apart from what I considered to be a Canadian ‘Shangri-La’.
“My God, Colette, how fantastic to hear your voice,” I said.
“It’s been far too long,” she said.
I heard Hans’s gentle voice in the background say a cheery ‘hello’. Another wave of comfort feelings surged through me.
Thirty-eight years before, my newly-wed sister and her handsome, university-educated husband, had taken me into their small apartment so that I could attend college. They generously provided a clean, safe place for me to live for a year.
Now, we are four thousand, two hundred and fifteen kilometers, including a ferry ride away from each other. My husband, Frank, and I live on the Vancouver Island.
My mind focused on Colette’s cheerful voice as she asked that we consider a family gathering during the upcoming summer months somewhere on the Island. Our four voices tossed meeting location ideas back and forth but in the end we agreed to talk about it another time.
The idea of another conversation with my long-lost sister warmed my heart. I like that sister bonds are flexible.