Early morning light gently brushed across my face to awaken me this morning. Fleeting thoughts of a dream flickered in and out ...my mind grasping to piece together the wisps of memory dancing close to the edge of my consciousness...just out of reach. I dreamt about Andrea, my sister, last night. I awoke with an ache in my heart...I missed her.
Over the weekend, I'd spent hours pouring through dusty boxes of letters from friends and family - some dating back 30 years. Most of the them penned in the familiar graceful strokes by my sister. Letters flowed back and forth between us across the miles and years...She'd been on my mind since this weekend. Over the last few years, life circumstances changed the frequency and means of our communication.
Recently, a family reunion beckoned me home to the shores of the Peninsula in Erie, PA (my Mom's hometown). My sister didn't attend; I'd desperately wanted to see her, but respected the choice she made. I sent her a beautiful heart rock that I found on the sandy shores of Lake Erie to let her know I loved her; that across the miles in spirit we remained connected.
When I arrived home this evening, my eyes fell immediately to a yellow package stuffed into the mailbox. A quiet voice rose up within me...it's from Andrea - special delivery. Hesitantly, I opened the package not sure what to expect, not wanting to be reminded of the deep ache of missing her. Five years have passed since we've been together as a family. Pictures and occasional letters keep me updated on their lives, though I always want more.
A short note tucked into a pocket size book enclosed a picture of my beautiful little niece Nicole. She's growing up so fast...taller and more beautiful than I remembered. A quick note jotted on floral stationary expressed my sister's appreciation of the heart rock I'd sent her. A few lines caught me up on her daily life these past few weeks. Just enough connection to feel the love closing the distance I'd felt between us. As I turned over the small book in a my hand, a smile crept to my face. While shopping one day, the book Heart Stones by Josie Iselin caught her eye. She thought I'd enjoy it. (The book is a wonderful collection of heart stone images. Josie captures the beauty and universal appeal of the heart stones and the 'messages' offered in each.)
Ironically, my sister and niece share the same passion for heart rocks. For last decade, they've collected heart-shaped rocks. It amazes me that our connection remains so strong...one that transcends time and boundaries. Across the miles, two hearts forever share the bonds of family, sisterhood and love.