Leave it to my sister, Krissie, to find the best in everything. Even death.
Her birthday is January 16th. Typically, her big day consists of dinner at the Japanese Steakhouse followed by a delicious marble cake topped with purple flowers.
But this year’s celebration was bittersweet.
Christian’s beloved grandmother, “Nani”, died the morning of January 16th.
Krissie had adored Nani. When our remaining grandparent had gone home to glory over seven years ago, Krissie and I had come to think of Nani as our own. Even though I was the one who had “married into the family”, Nani had drawn Krissie right in.
Nani had loved her so.
“Beth,” Nani would say, “when are you going to bring Krissie to see me?”
These two weren’t often together, but during the moments they shared, their eyes would sparkle as smiles covered their faces and giggles poured from their lips, both of them always ready for a good time and great conversation.
In many ways, two peas in a pod. Simple and sweet, loving others selflessly, loyal to the end. They enjoyed a relationship pure and precious, a bond strengthened by the “being together”.
Having just spoken with Christian about Nani’s passing, I called my mom, thinking she would need time to help Krissie start processing the loss before her birthday dinner that evening. Mom answered. Krissie must have stood listening closely beside her because almost immediately and none-too-queitly, she pressed Mom to handover the receiver.
As Krissie spoke, her voice trembled but never broke, and I easily pictured her long lashes moisten, framing her beautiful blue eyes.
“You know what’s really cool, Beth?” Krissie said. “Nani saw Jesus for the first time on my birthday!” Krissie paused. “I will never forget that on my birthday as long as I live.”
Her instinctive response amazed and blessed me. So sweet, so devoted, this one, this precious sister of mine. So happy to share her special day with one she loved, deeply and wholeheartedly.
I, too, will forever link these lovely ladies in my mind every January 16th, one of the most treasured days of my year.
May God richly bless them – both today and beyond.