call with Jess
My sister Jessica was able to call me two days ago from the airport on her way to Lithuania. It was so strange hearing her voice after three months of being away. It was so familiar, but in a lot of ways so different. I thought there would be too many things to say - too many emotions to express, but it was actually so normal which I loved more than anything. It's like she hasn't been gone at all and we were just having a quick chat to catch up.
We talked about Kevin's new job, about his med school interviews, about what was going on with the kids at church. She told me about her roommates and her flight so far, and about the food at the airport. She told me she was afraid a little bit about moving to this foreign place but then said quickly, "I'm trying to stop thinking about fear, because fear is not of God" and I remembered what I had to tell myself three months ago when she left. That sometimes courage is saying goodbye to someone else you love who is doing something hard - shared courage.
She spoke a few minutes in Lithuanian to me. The language sounds so smooth and liquid and in some ways reminded me of Parseltongue :) So many "S" sounds, with long, flowing words. It sounded so beautiful the way she spoke it - I wished I could understand what she said and then I realized that she would be speaking it to people who do understand. The message they need to hear the most in their own, native language and I said a prayer in my heart that they would listen.
We didn't cry like I thought we would, because I was trying to be brave and she is always more brave but I cried after we hung up because I didn't know it was possible to miss someone with this same heartbreaking urgency. Then I thought about her hanging up the payphone with tears in her eyes which made me me cry more.
The missing is not the thing that pains, but the love. One thing I have learned from this experience so far is that love is hard but it is so good. It is the best thing.