I pause on the stairs, foot suspended. Directly across from me, the living room fan hangs from the ceiling so much higher than I. Its whirring strings a symphony with the clack of the keys and the voices on the television. They sit below, on couches and chairs.
My quirky big little brother with the red truck and the hunk smile.
My lanky big littlest brother with the man’s laugh and artist’s eyes. My mama who never quits and listens ever.
My daddy who gets up early and hugs my sleepy self, then comes home at the end of long days.
My grandma who is the ultimate military wife and still is, really, only this separation is a bit longer because he’s gone Home first. My family.
And they are mine.
I wonder how my heart can be so full and so open at the same time. Surely if I held all the love I think I do, I’d have to close up shop, draw the shutters, declare, No more, no more.
But that’s not the way love works, does it? Love gives and gives. Love opens and stretches and never says too much.
Even though sometimes I wish I could change them (or at least peek inside their hearts and peer at what they’re thinking), I would never trade them.
Oh, I’ve seen us all bicker and roll eyes, and often I’m the guilty party. But at the end of the day, the tears dry, the peace or the truce ensues, though tense at times. It isn’t always easy.
Is it ever easy? But our hearts are knit by life and laughter, by birthday cakes and heirloom rings, by Christmas traditions and that you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me look.
They live with me, the one who often foregoes bedtime because I have to clack keys or scribble ink. They roll smiling eyes at me, the one who can be so cluelessly contemplative and forgets to help with the laundry.
Ya’ll, you’re mine and I’m yours. I’m never giving up on you because… I love you.
Image by: Héctor Landaeta