Archive | sisters

The Storm (and mostly after it)

It is a difficult thing for me to blog about this, but I have decided to do it anyway.

Yesterday, as I told you, was Monday…Cleaning Day.

My father and eldest brother were sleeping (they had both been at work all night) and my mother and Sabrina went to the grocery store. While I was in charge, things went badly.

It was an argument with deep roots which looked like a tiny sprout from the surface. It looked like a tiff over house work when really it was a painful battle between two different souls-of two different countries. Two different people and the very blood which runs through their veins. Two people whose hearts sometimes forget that they are kindred.

She didn’t want to vacuum and she didn’t want to dust…I confronted her. She had to work. She had to help…Mommy had said so. Then I just burst. I’ll admit that I screamed.
The two of us stood in the laundry room screaming. I asked her why I tried to make her happy when I was never successful. Why? Why? Why?

She said that she tried. How?

She tried not to be angry when I was never happy with her work.

You don’t try to do well I replied.

And, as many arguments do, it boiled down to something. We dug up the roots and the tiny sprout was revealed to be something much older.

She hid her face in a rag a sobbed. I caught my breath.

The little kids, who had been cleaning up outside came in the den door. I had my back to the den. I didn’t want to turn around and offer a tear stained face.

“It’s raining.” They said. Of course it is. I thought. I began this storm.

The weather was perfectly appropriate. The dark clouds blocked out the sun just as our dark words were blocking out anything good. “Stay on the deck a while…it’ll pass.” I say. I know that it is calming…coming to an end. They obey, never seeing my face or the huddled figure sliding down on the laundry room floor with her back against the dryer.

Broken and beaten with the sharpest tool-words. She weeps and I weep but not yet together.

Her face is still hidden in that white rag. Her weeping sounds like a combination of a cranky baby, a hurt puppy but somehow like a widow. It was mourning. It was mourning.

For her country? Her language so long ago forgotten? Her mother? Her childhood?

That is an eternal mystery for me, but my little sister was sitting on the laundry room floor mourning.

We are like two pieces of metal…shaped differently that do not fit together.

When put together our jagged edges tear away at one another until finally, someday we’ll fit together. God will shave away at us, painfully, slowly, until we are smooth.

Our other sister, only twelve, walked in to witness the happenings. Standing there watching as if she had seen this many times before. Sadly, this wasn’t the first argument betwixt us.

But this part, what happened next is what I hope she’ll always remember.


I forgave her. Would she forgive me? How do I ask? In many ways, we still do not speak the same language. I had to show her…act it out.

I too slid down against the dryer. Her breaths were caught…snagging on overwhelmed emotion.

I put my arm around her and begged her to breath. Her face was still in her rag against her knees.

So much like a baby. And how do you comfort a baby? I knew the answer.

I decided to sing to her. What song is most comforting to a mourning child?

A song about Christ’s love. Jesus loves the little children.

And what else? What could make her feel at home? Jezi renmen tout ti moun yo-to sing it in her own language even if she did forget most of it long ago.

So I sang it, quietly. My voice cracking and flickering through my pain and sorrow.

I stumbled over a few of the words but I knew that they were there in her mind.

We rocked side to side, gently. Her sobs would die down and then, like wind, pick up again. Finally, aware that much time had passed and our littler sister had vanished (the hum of the vacuum could be heard from the living room) I got up to finish my work. I suggested she went outside for a while so that the little kids who were getting drinks in the kitchen wouldn’t hear her cry but she muttered something about not wanting to. So I left her.

I went into the bathroom and washed my hands. I washed my hands of it all.

I washed my face…a baptism…a re-dedication to what I was trying to live by.

Then I went and found a dusting rag and began to dust. The children were scurrying about the deck. The sun. It had come back. The son had not forsaken us. The clouds had cleared.
Fickle weather.

As I dusted I thought. This is The Life (The Roast Beef Life.) Truth and reality. Pure grief to wash away the deceitful intentions. Honest arguing. It was painful but it broke us down to size and made us fit a little better…side by side. We finished it together in the end. Nothing hidden…no drama. I knew that living “real” included true pain when I chose this life.

She reappears and asks if she can call Mommy. Respect for my authority…asking first.

I too respect my authority saying yes and then again by giving her a job I know she can accomplish-dishes. The kitchen sparkles and we both clean silently for the rest of the day.

Speaking few words but exchanging much communication.

We will heal and it’ll get better by and by.

Everly Pleasant


Sifting Sand

Bunny, Birdie, Sammy, Willin and Jubilee have developed a new pastime.

They gather dirt in buckets from our driveway and sift it in a net. The fine, soft sand falls into a large rubber tub and they dump the remaining rocky “bad dirt” back onto the drive. For some reason, this occupies them for hours, just collecting, sifting, dumping and then gathering around to run their fingers through their handiwork. Originally, the sand was gathered to pad the pin of our two precious box turtles; Skipperdee and Flipperdee but then the kids just got carried away.

But it’s work and they feel productive, remaining mostly silent just toiling away deep in thought caught in the rhythm of their labor. And it’s better than lying around or watching tv or arguing.

Funny, everything turns into a analogy in my head…
Tonight it is my prayer that The Lord would sift out all of the unholy thoughts in my mind, all the decieted desires of my heart and then rid me of all wickedness in everything I do and say.
And when I ask God to rid me of unholliness, it means to replace it with holliness. I found this quote on another blog yesterday:
“The Bible makes no room for the idea of the secular. In biblical worldview,there is only the sacred and the profane, and the profane is just the sacred abused, unkempt, trampled down, trivialized, turned inside out. It is just the holy treated in an unholy way.” ~ Mark Buchanan



Funny Thing # 11:
It is ten at night. Joey is getting ready to go to work. He is in the kitchen ironing his shirt. Jubilee gets up and announces that she needs to go potty. She marches into the kitchen and then goes into the bathroom. If you leave the door open (which I hope you don’t) you can see into the kitchen, right to the place where the plug is…the place where Joey irons.
Jubilee: “What’chya doing?”
Joey: “Ironing my shirt.”
Jubilee: “Why you ironing that shirt?”
Joey: “Cause I’m going to work.”
Jubilee: “But you wore that shirt already today.”
Joey: “No I didn’t.”
Jubilee: “Yes you did.”
Joey: “No I didn’t.”
Jubilee: “Then what shirt did you wear?”
Joey: “My blue one.”
Jubilee: “I don’t know how you wore the blue when when I saw you wearin’ that green one.”
Jubilee: *flushes*
Pat, pat pat. Jubilee goes back to bed. A matter of seconds pass and Joey appears in the doorway of the kitchen with his well-ironed greenish shirt on. I type and Mommy sits and reads. “Mama,” Joey says uncertainly. “Did I wear this shirt today? I wore that blue one didn’t I?”
Ha, this isn’t funny unless you know my family. Jubilee is like…like Willin’s manager. When Joey was little he was just like Willin (out to lunch so they say.) So as Jubilee reminds Willin to put his pull-up on and makes sure his shoes match ever morning, she has now gained the respect of Joey…so much so that her opinion about clothes rules over his own. :D hahaha



This is the best example I could think of for Jubilee and I, except I wasn’t laying around…I was TRYING to go about my normal day.

Seeing as “Sabrina” and “My Favorite Song” don’t really qualify as posts, I decided to write a little afternoon note about what I’ve been up to.

Firstly, I started working on a story a few months ago and picked it up again yesterday, edited, added and now I have three dandy chapters printed. It’s dedicated to Birdie and it is cornily called: “A Summer in Sassafras.” I’ve also been working on “The Wicker Children” which I am co-writing with Elizabeth Perry. I also have Robin II in the back of my mind and have been typing on him sporadically.

Today I had to bolt out the front door to get to the pond. Jubilee had been clinging to me all day. It’s worse than you think. She was hanging on me when I was typing, had her arms around my waste or in my pockets wherever I walked…it was the most I could do to shut the bathroom door between us! She was being so sweet though. “Your my fave-wit.” and “I want to cuddle wif you!” I had let her do it all day…but occasionally a girl needs some space! So she had finally given me some slack, she was in the kitchen and I was in the living room. I opened the front door and heard little feet coming from the kitchen area. I slipped my flip-flops on and made a dash. I had closed the door behind me but by the time I made it to the driveway I heard it open again. But she didn’t say anything…and she didn’t follow. I had my “pond time” and went back into the house. My mom had set the table in a colorful array of garden fresh veggies and sandwich stuff so I washed up and sat down. Jubilee then marched into the dining room: “I missed you outside.” She said, big brown eyes staring right at me.

What am I to do???

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