“Will you be my sister?” The request came with a squeeze on my arm, and for some reason, the
combination of words and touch catalyzed the inevitable abeyance of doubt that unfolds in such matters of connection. The moment punctuated concerns of “good enough” and lack of shared history and ripened in my belly.
This was love.
Grace with skin on, this 6 year old with missing teeth. Scars threaded like rivers down her neck to her heart, paying homage to the veins and arteries unseen, but active, underneath. “You are to me, my Da-Da.” Translation: Sister.
Oh, God. This love is unbearable in its unbelievable beauty. Undeserved. Unearned. Undulated.
She didn’t even wait for a response from me. The deal had already been sealed. I belonged. She offered herself completely, and I was folded into her existence.
A flash of recognition quickened in my memory a split second later. As if waving hello to me. My epiphany. There was the identifiable hunger. The unexpecting joy that also finds a home in you. The unaware beauty that is also yours.
I traveled halfway around the globe, and it was winter in Kenya, and my feet were sticking into the mud swelling around the village. Forced to trudge. Forced to pick up my feet. And there she was, skipping. Literally, her movements were cadences of hope. And she was in you. And I carried you with me.
For there are moments, out here in this place and in this time, where our lives unravel. Where love discovers the rawness of our humanity, and lays bare ties that bind. This memory of mine is yours also, compelling a remembrance of something indiscernibly remarkable in the letting go. In the release. In the loss. In the distance.
Be untethered, my sister, to the fears that confine you. Do not be defined by the spaces surrounding you. For you must know how you are able to light up a room. You are beautiful. You are strong. You are a mystery to yourself, unabated in your splendor.
Step into yourself. And in the stepping, feel also that you are loved. Take this love I have for you from and for me. And take it with you. Take it and call it yours like only you can. Do not settle for complacency or passionless mediocrity. Have the courage to take it and speak into it.
Will you? Will you be my sister?
Will you be yours?