It's not a secret, it's no longer a surprise, spread the word.
My sister is coming for Christmas.
I just found out, moments ago. Actually, she's not coming Christmas Eve or Day, but Monday night - and only for one night.
They live eighteen hours away and were here several months ago for three weeks so that my neice, Rachel, could participate in Ballet Magnificant's summer camp. Because of that recent trip, they were not coming back for Christmas.
But now, they will be here in forty-eight hours as I write this.
I love all my precious sisters, and I will spend Christmas with the other two and their families, with Penny traveling from Tennessee to be here.
But this joy I'm feeling now comes from thinking that I would not see Janice, and now knowing I will.
Janice took care of me. Janice put up with me. Janice has always been more than a sister.
Fourteen months older than me, here we are one Christmas.
Remember decorating trees with angel hair? I do.
Christmas Eve was always spent at Ma and Pa's house. There was one heater in the front of the old house. The back bedrooms were so cold we could not move under all the quilts Mama piled on us. But we managed, somehow, to scoot to the window by the bed and write in the condensation on the glass, carefully keeping our eyes peeled for Santa.
We would whisper and laugh until Mama would tell us, "For the last time . . ." to get quiet or Santa would not come.
Hold the presses. She's not coming. He may be good to me, but He's Too Good To Me has bad timing. I was trying to find time between rehearsals to finish and post this, it's only hours before I have to be silly for tonight's drama, only twenty-four before she and her family were to be here, and he relays the bad news from Mama.
Plans have changed and my brother-in-law, who is on church staff, will not be able to get away.
So here I sit, typing this change to my blog, barely able to see through the tears. I've only spent two Christmas' away from any of my sisters. I'm forty-four and know that is a blessing - many, many families are apart at Christmas - but knowing does not make missing any easier. Each sister is as precious to me as the next, but one is not able to take the place of another.
I'm a sister kinda gal, and My Lord knew what he was doing when he gave me three.
Janice, I will love on your other two baby sisters extra for you this year.
Here's kisses through cyberspace to you and all those that belong to you that have made our family better.
I miss you . . .