Tonight I discovered what love is again.
I've been in Philadelphia spending the New Year with my family-- my mom's younger sister and family. My 13 year old cousin and I are very close; in a very real way she is the sister I always dreamed of. Tonight is my last night here as tomorrow the kids go back to school, my aunt goes back to work, and I fly home. K started trying to convince me to stay longer and when I said I couldn't, she made up ways that I would be forced to-- flight delays or cancellations, etc. We sat on her bed and she looked at me with her big, bright blue eyes. She melts my heart when I look into her eyes because she wears her love on her face, there is no way to miss it, and she loves me very dearly. We talked about how we will be able to spend much more time together after this summer because her family will be relocating to the west coast, as will I. She still tried to make me stay, and though not satisfied with waiting, she smiled and I knew that she understood.
K loves me so much she hates spending time apart from me, and vice versa, and cannot wait for the day when we do not have to be apart. But until that day, she is content to love me as fiercely as she can, no matter the distance. It's such a comforting thought to me when I worry about my dad and how hurt he feels when I mention moving away, especially now that Mommabear is no longer here. But K reminds me of Mommabear and something she said to me when I first started talking about moving away. Mommabear looked at me in the car that day and said, "Of course I want you to stay near me and get a job and raise a family, but more than that, I want you to be happy and to not miss any opportunities. We will always be a family no matter how far apart we are."
This is love-- so fierce that they want you to stay with them forever, but so encompassing that they let you go.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May this year be one of holding on, letting go, and loving fiercely.