The last twelve years melted away instantly. It could have been only yesterday since we had last seen each other, spoken to each other in person, shared a meal, and chatted and laughed whilst sharing a cup of tea.
She hadn’t changed one little bit over the years. Sure, she had aged slightly in appearance; so had I. But it wasn’t the physical appearance that mattered, but the essence of the people we are, our personalities, our souls.
Where we came from. The 50% DNA we share and the fact that we are 99.95% biochemically identical, although it isn’t the scientific statistics that I feel. It’s more, much more.
We are sisters. We share a history.
And a wonderful history it is too!
We laughed and reminisced, as we leafed through old photos, remembering holidays we had taken, and visits to our grandma’s home. We talked about the love we felt for some favourite uncles, and the lack of understanding toward our elder relatives that we had as young people, yet the understanding and acceptance becoming crystal clear when we reached adulthood.
Being thirteen years older than I am, she recalls another life, many years before my birth, of living in another country. She spoke of the home she had lived in back then, playing with our sisters in the garden, the park across the road, her first school, the furniture in the home and how beautifully our mother kept that home.
She spoke of the wild flowers growing in the fields, in the country of her birth; she remembered visiting the grave of our grandfather and the beautiful park-like setting which surrounded his last resting place.
We spoke of our eldest sister, now lost to us, and the demons that she couldn’t shake out of her life, and the bitterness she carried with her to her last days, developed over incidences out of her control, out of anyone’s control. She could never let go of her pain, her resentment. And yet we both loved her so dearly.
My youngest son, who had no recollection of his auntie, asked me to show him a photo of her before she arrived. He didn’t know her, he didn’t want to be shocked by not recognising her. I told him not to feel concerned, he’d know her when he saw her.
Within minutes of them meeting, as she laughed and talked and waved her arms around her in an animated manner, my son’s head turned suddenly towards me. He looked straight at me and then at my sister, with recognition in his eyes.
He knew her. We were the same. He felt the familiarity of her soul.
One day in twelve years is not enough, yet it is plenty. It was all we needed.
And then she was gone again, yet she remains with me, always in my heart.
My heart is enriched. She’s always there.