ode to my sister
During this time of year, when thoughts turn to Compassion, Giving, and Absolute Love, I can’t think of a person who embodies these values more than my sister. When I think of her, I’m reminded of Albert Einstein’s thoughts on Compassion:
A human being is a part of the whole called by us ‘Universe,’ a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
Over Thanksgiving, the last holiday in our Baltimore house, I visited my younger sister’s barn and her horse, Milagro. She’s staying in the Baltimore area while my parents relocate to the Eastern Shore.
My sister is a marvel. She rises before dawn every morning to visit the barn and care for her horse. While I’m drying my hair and listening to Morning Edition, she is already outside in the dark, quiet morning, taking her horse out into the fields and cleaning up stalls.
She and Milagro have been together for years. Even though there have been many times that the price to keep him is too great, she finds a way to cut costs and create solutions and put Milagro’s needs before her own.
After her morning visit to the barn, she then goes to her other job as a “Massage Therapist” and “Receptionist,” where her job title really should be “Master Caretaker of Clarity and Loving Kindess.” When anyone walks through the spa door, she greets each stranger with genuine warmth and welcome. Even when she’s not at work, her clients approach her with wide smiles and a hug. And she really does give the *best* bear hug you’ve ever had.
So here’s to you, my inspirational and compassionate little sister, who always puts the needs of everyone, and I mean everyone, before her own. Who reminds me of what this holiday season is really all about. And who always makes me homemade chocolate chip cookies when I come home to visit.