Forty years ago, we were three.
The first of the Miller girls married one July afternoon in 1980. We used the occasion to pose for the first formal picture of Sisters United!
As of last October, we’re down to two.
The sudden death of our sister Mimi is a loss that reverberates too much.
Daily, we sort through her life and what she left behind. We face more weeks, if not months, of emotional intensity.
It means a life that mattered. Matters.
I struggle with the idea of joy this New Year. After these past nine weeks, life echoes with an odd familiarity: New Normal.
A few days ago, while on the road (again) at Mimi’s house, I found this:
“ENDURE means to put up with something trying or painful.”
Something was missing. Synchronicity delivered this Maya Angelou poem:
My wish for you
Is that you continue
To be who and how you are
To astonish a mean world
With your acts of kindness
To allow humor to lighten the burden
Of your tender heart
In a society dark with cruelty
To let the people hear the grandeur
Of God in the peals of your laughter
To let your eloquence
Elevate the people to heights
They had only imagined
To remind the people that
Each is as good as the other
And that no one is beneath
Nor above you
To remember your own young years
And look with favor upon the lost
And the least and the lonely
To put the mantle of your protection
Around the bodies of
The young and defenseless
To take the hand of the despised
And diseased and walk proudly with them
In the high street
Some might see you and
Be encouraged to do likewise
To plant a public kiss of concern
On the cheek of the sick
And the aged and infirm
And count that as a
Natural action to be expected
To let gratitude be the pillow
Upon which you kneel to
Say your nightly prayer
And let faith be the bridge
You build to overcome evil
And welcome good
To ignore no vision
Which comes to enlarge your range
And increase your spirit
To dare to love deeply
And risk everything
For the good thing
Happily in the sea of infinite substance
Which set aside riches for you
Before you had a name
And by doing so
You and your work
Will be able to continue
Back to the dictionary I went. Out leaped a deeper definition of endure:
to CONTINUE: to exist over a period of time or indefinitely.
Aha! I merged the two definitions into my own ENDURE: to continue to exist over a period of time while surviving something painful.
This isn’t the first time I’ve hurt (and it won’t be the last)—but there’s a unique pain in the death of a sibling. It’s more than your oldest secrets they take.
Treasure the gifts they bring to your life.
My command to you rings in my own ears.
For 2020, I seek new hope and special intentions. I travel forward, hoping and intending for continued endurance to clear two homes, complete a novel, and create an I‑develop-my-full-potential kind of life this year.
What are your special hopes and intentions this year?