“You Don’t Owe Me a Thing”

My sweet sis always says everything happens for a reason. She’s ridden enough of the roller coaster of life that this statement is deserving of respect. I find her calm and steady assurance that all will work for the good ever reassuring. Though my “little” sister and I have always been friends, it wasn’t until our adulthood that we became true allies to one another in every area of life. It is she, more than any other, who offers me the greatest sense of belonging, strength and understanding. She gave me a gift for my high school graduation that set us off on this new depth of connection. It is a framed picture that still sits on my dresser; our smiling faces look enthusiastically up at the camera from the lens of childhood, our arms protectively around one another. It also holds a short poem: “My sister deserves to know, that even though I don’t always show it, she is absolutely essential to the happiness that lives within my heart.” Reading that, I knew that whatever sense of juvenile competition or disagreement had kept us apart, she had loved me always, and always would. She deserves to know this too…she is forever my love.
She became a mother young, and has always been a working mother. Though of course I may be a trifle biased, her two daughters are amazing and beautiful, soft and strong, sharing many of my sis’s wonderful qualities. Her name is Alyssa, recognizing the sweet fragrance and appearance of the alyssum flower, but meaning logical. Though she is quite rational, and this appellation indeed fits her, I think it’s her bold and logic-defying belief in the presence of God’s master plan in all things that inspires me most. She has worked hard at shaping her thoughts in this way, and to do what Winston Churchill suggests of optimists: “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”  Coupled with this strength is an unshakeable loyalty and dedication to those she loves, accentuating her beauty more and more every day. Another quote, by an unknown author, reflects the power of her life best: “After all this time, the sun has yet to say to the earth, ‘You owe me.’ Look what happens with a love like that: it lights up the world!” What a powerful gift, to pour yourself out for others, and still look them in the eye as if to say, “You don’t owe me a thing”. Her love most certainly shines as one of the brightest lights in my journey. “Blessed are those who give without remembering, and take without forgetting” (Elizabeth Bibesco).

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