Last night, while channel surfing, I found the preview to a movie on Lifetime called "Bringing Ashley Home" and I didn't know if I could watch it because the one minute preview alone left me in tears . . . the story of a girl whose sister ends up missing. I wasn't sure I could take much more than that and if you have a sister, or maybe even if you don't, you know why. It showed scenes like the sister who isn't missing lying in bed unable to move from grief as the word "Sisters" flashed across the screen, followed by:
never give up, then
never stop looking, then
never let each other go.
If one of your sisters was missing, or your brother, could you give up or stop looking or let her go? How would Easter look next week, when there are supposed to be four Easter baskets, just like there have been since 1982, but this time, because one sibling is missing, there are only 3 - or worse - there are still 4!
How do you give up or stop looking or let go when you can hardly even remember a time without your sister or your brother and even if you don't see them or talk to them as much as other people in your life, for a myriad of reasons, it really doesn't matter because you share a name and ancestry and blood and childhood and if one is missing then you are all missing.
How do you give up or stop looking or let go when, as kids, you ran away together (all your clothes packed in one flowered suitcase) or video taped your brother in your mother's underwear or waited together behind the sheet hanging in the hallway every Christmas morning. When your memories have created a language that nobody else speaks and you have the same hair, same pictures, same resentment - how do you ever go home again if one of you is missing?
Just like the Easter basket - you wouldn't know if you should hang the stocking or light the birthday candles or set the place at Thanksgiving. It must be absolute agony, unbearable, to have a sibling missing, or anyone really - anyone we love and expect to see, who is a part of your life so deeply that he or she is also a part of you - a child, a husband, a parent . . . unbearable.
The truth is though, we don't really think about this stuff when everyone is where they are supposed to be and alive and well. We can't be bothered then . . . and its a good thing because you too might spend an hour crying, imagining one of those you love - just gone.
No thank you. I will stick to thinking about the disappearance of the paper boy instead, the one who tosses our paper like a grenade at 5 a.m, or the neighbor who starts shoveling during my last half hour of sleep on a Monday morning or the moms who block my shopping path with those giant car carts in Wegmans.
Ah, but then again - they have Easter baskets waiting for them too don't they? So lets just hope everyone comes home safely today.