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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Recordar es Volver a Vivir

Title translation: To Remember is to Live Again

Hugging my brother for the first time in five years is a pretty amazing feeling.  My heart is full of admiration for him. Knowing that, at age 18, he decided to serve our country by becoming a United States Marine overwhelms me with pride.  Unfortunately, life sometimes gives you obstacles and this reunion was very delayed.

Six years ago our life was in turmoil.   Our mom's soul had gone to rest in heaven and, though her battle with cancer had ended, our struggle with life had begun.  Our little sister was only 17 and my brother was fighting a war in Iraq.

I remember her last days vividly.  Her cancer invaded her body right before our eyes.  There was nothing we could do except medicate her in hopes that she wouldn't suffer.  She had held on for so long but, was tired of fighting.  One night she told us she was leaving.  I knew that it was time to say good-bye so  I knelt by her feet and, with my arms wrapped gently around her achy body, I thanked her for the beautiful life she had given us. Tears ran down her face when she stared into my sister's precious face.  Sadly, there was someone missing.

My brother was on his way home from Iraq to say good-bye but, never got that chance.  She was already gone when he got home.  I had prayed for God to take her.  I couldn't see her suffer anymore. I knew that praying for her suffering to end would mean that my brother wouldn't get the chance to hug her one last time.  That was the hardest prayer I've ever prayed and I hope his heart has forgiven me.

When the funeral passed, it was time to say good-bye again.  The day my brother began his journey back to Iraq was the first time I missed my mom.  When the three of us were together, I felt safe in our memories.  The start of his trip was the also the beginning of trying to make sense of our lives without our mom.

We've spent years trying to put puzzle pieces together, years trying to make it back to each other. Being held tight in my brother's embrace suddenly makes everything fit.  Ecclesiastes 3:4 tells us that there is a time to weep, and a time to laugh, a time to mourn, and a time to dance.  This is our time to laugh and our time to dance!

As I continue my journey to better health, I'll make new memories along the way.  Yesterday's memories will remind me not to be stuck in my time to mourn.