"And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more."
Dr. SeussI had prepared myself for a Molly-LESS Christmas. I had cried. I cried again. And, then I cried some more after that, until, I just had nothing left to cry. It had been almost 16 weeks since I'd seen my sister. We'd spent the last 102 day communicating via twitter, Facebook, and Instant Messenger. It was getting harder and harder to not just make every Dear Aunt Olly post "We miss you, We miss you, We miss you". And, the only thing I really wanted was to drink coffee with her in my parents' kitchen while listening the sounds of my daughter playing in the background.Then, last night, like any other night, Madaline and I traipsed upstairs with Morris and Murphy in our wake. It was bedtime. I sunk to the floor and felt the cold draft that whispers itself thru the cracks of our old house this time of year running across the bare floor. After making sure everything was just so, Madaline settled criss cross applesauce on her bed. And, with the glow from the hallway lights spilling into the room, just as my own Dad used to do, I told her our homespun bedtime stories. Days of her life, memories of love and laughter, all woven into a story that I want to be forever imprinted on the pages of her mind.
When I finished, she climbed out of bed, into my lap, wrapped her fleece covered arms around my neck and settled her head into the crook of my neck. As I pulled her close, inhaling the the sweet smell of her, I whispered "Guess who's coming home tonight". "Who Mommy". "Guess"...... Looking up at me with wide eyes "Aunt Olly?" she whispered and suddenly her trademark smile danced across her face. "Yes....baby girl, Aunt Olly will be home tonight". "Really, Mommy? So, I can give her a hug? I've missed her so much".
"Me too Mads...me too".
note: My sister's plane arrived at JFK last night, from London, at shortly before 8pm. This was after she spent an extra 5 days in London when flights in or out of Heathrow Airport came to a screeching halt this past weekend. I heard my sister's voice clearly thru a phone for the first time in almost 16 weeks last night shortly after 9pm. I am thankful she's home. So, very, very, very, thankful she is home for Christmas.