This past week, I experienced a goodbye unlike any of the other goodbyes I've had to make in my life.
It was to my older sister, Anna, who is now far away at college.
She and I haven't had a stellar relationship, pretty much our entire lives. From the day I was born, we kind of decided, "Who is this punk and why are they invading my personal space/life/500-foot-radius!?"
There is no real explanation for it.
At times, I swear we've even really hated each others guts.
And me, being the over-analytical freak-zoid that I am, have always tried to say why we never got along. I need reasons. It annoys a lot of people (especially Anna).
In spite of this, I didn't want her to go. I wanted her to stay forever and never leave. The thought of letting her go was like the thought of losing a limb.
But, as we said goodbye, and I hugged her hard enough to cause her to make dramatic choking noises and made her promise to stay in touch, something started to become clear to me.
I saw it perfectly when we got home a few days later, and I walked out of the bathroom, expecting to see Anna on her bed, posting funny stuff on Tumblr and blaring Bruno Mars....and there was nothing.
Her room is empty.
Her bed has no sheets on it.
All that was left on the floor were a few pennies and strings.
I wanted to cry a lot of Saturday and Sunday, I felt so overwhelmed by loneliness...by the fact that the constant that was always Anna, was gone.
Here's what I realized: I fight with Anna more than any other single person in my life. And she's the person I love more than anyone else. She's the person I miss most when they're gone.
Maybe there is no logical explanation for it, but, sharing this with my good friend Kat, she said, "And this will only make you closer."
I know she's right.
So, I was just thinking; what if we never had to say goodbye? What if we never had to let go of anyone?
If I hadn't let go, I never would have found this place in my heart that is just bursting with love and loneliness for my older sister, who at times I couldn't stand.
If you never say goodbye, you never really know whether or not you love someone.
And she'll be back, of course, for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and than Spring and Summer break!
I can't wait!
I love you, Anna! Thank you for all you have taught me, shared with me, and done for me. Have an amazing time at college...stay in touch and keep updating your Tumblr (Mom and I might go into withdrawal....). We're all praying for you.
I love you.