I am a strong believer in how you start the new year will leave a mark on all the days to follow.
Last night, we were blessed as a family to start it with my husband's long-lost sister.
We fellowshipped in her lovely mansion amid the two cats, the kids declaring their approval of her media room, and Keziah exclaiming "this is the home of my dreams!"
I tried as much as possible to dip in and out of the room and just absorb the love and connection that was transpiring between my husband, his baby sister, and his newfound sister. They were rolling out family histories and comparing their experiences with the father that connected them all.
They made a choice and their choice was to embrace, empower, and enhance one another as ten turned to eleven.
My heart was rejoicing for the three of them. Their smiles were exuberant and for a brief moment, these forty-somethings were children again, meeting a new playmate, and sharing their toys.
She greeted us with love and hugs and warmly walked us through the renovation she had been undertaking for the past two years in an historic part of St. Louis. The food was spread out as if kings and queens were coming to visit, and the room splendidly decorated. It gave me pause for a moment and I stood in the middle of her piano room and just breathed it all in.
There was nothing flashy about her or the work she had done, she didn't have children but took care to make sure that if any or all of her nieces and nephews visited, there would be something for them. She had the Wii and the media room all ready for the kids, she had popcorn and popcorn bowls and an entire floor of the house that was set for when they come for a sleepover.
Again, I just stood there and took in the unconditional love that knit these siblings together as if they had all grown up under one roof.
Their connection made my heart sing, for I knew, somehow, brining in Eleven in this beautifully arrayed mansion, was a little taste of heaven right here.
We packed up and promised to stay in touch, now that they were all in the same city at the same time. The kids asked (repeatedly) if they could spend Spring Break at her house (yes) and Summer (yes, the pool will be open then) and they jumped up and down with delight. The teenager tried to just look cool and calm until he thought about that huge bathroom that would be part of his retreat. They all hugged their Aunt Mayblene just looked as if we gave them a gift beyond anything they received a week earlier.
That is how we brought in the new year, with family, with love, with promise. Eleven only has to produce the same. Happy Joyous Amazing Prosperous Continuously Wonderful New Year!