runlikejoy

Displaced Stay At Home Californian in rural N. Carolina

The Many Faces of Joy

The Many Faces of Joy

Friday, March 8, 2013

Year 7

This is the time of year that I write something to commemorate the time that my sister has been incarcerated.  Each day she spends in prison is one day closer to her release date and the opportunity to spend time together again.  But that having been said, each day she spends in prison is one more day she spends in hell.  I'm sure that she does her best to make the most of her situation - she certainly convinces me when we are talking on the telephone that things are not that bad.  But I know that where she is, is the last place she would choose to be but as she puts it, nothing can compare to the 16 years of hell she spent with the guy who is responsible for putting her where she is.

I have been consumed with my own feelings of loneliness lately and feeling sorry for myself and my situation.  I have plenty to eat, a warm bed, nice things, people who love me around me and today there is sunshine but I have been spending a lot of time missing California and my friends and family.  And in the midst of my pity party my cousin has made time in her very busy schedule to come and visit me not once but twice.  Once in January and once in February!  Talk about wonderful.  We found a great greasy spoon restaurant that makes some of the best biscuits I have ever had.  We found a wine bar that was trying very hard to be pretentious.  We had some really yummy Indian food.  She played with the kids.  We played the violin and piano and sang so loudly that the kids ran off an played in another room.  We found stinky antique stores where I'm sure a few ghosts live. And all the time we spent together I forgot about how lonely I was and how much I missed all my friends and family.

When I was 18 years old I left home to go to an exchange program in Spain.  In all honesty I didn't know where Spain was and was fairly shocked to realize it was very far away from California but at that time I didn't care, I was ready to leave home and get away.  Once I got there I was crippled by homesickness.  I was so bad that I didn't want to leave my dorm room or go anywhere including classes.  I didn't speak any Spanish so that also made it hard.  So my sister, who was teaching English in South Korea at the time, flew all the way from Seoul to Valencia, Spain and spent her hard earned money and took me on a Christmas trip around Europe.  And the worst part of this story is that I was a little shit to her the whole time.  She paid for everything.  She was so generous to me.  She was so kind and so forgiving.  And I was nasty, and small minded and unfair and snotty.  And I feel terrible about it.  I wish I had spent more time being kind and generous to her.  But I was 18 and I was terribly foolish and too busy being a brat to appreciate what a good big sister and overall good person my sister was being.  It breaks my heart to think about how shitty I was to her.

And this is where my cousin comes in.  Sometimes when I spend time with her, I feel like she is on loan to me, to fill in for my sister, to help me right some wrongs.  And someday when I'm not young anymore and my sister is not young anymore, I will get my sister back and then my cousin and I can just be best friends and she won't have to fill two roles for me like she does now. 

Hang on Angela, you are one year closer.
And thank you Baby Lisa.




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