She was my baby. I dressed her up, braided her hair or curled her pigtails and paraded around town with her. I cried heaving mother's sobs at her college graduation and watched in astonishment as she became a talented teacher, a mindful wife and the most amazing mother around. Whenever I confided in her, she surprised me with her often funny, keep-it-real, astute observations. She's smart, this little sister of mine. She's hilarious. She's irreverent and honest. Best of all, she's always on my side.
I will never, ever forget the countless acts of grace that have accompanied her love. She came to my house as I braced myself for Patrick's open heart surgery and lotioned my feet and painted my toes. She couldn't fix Patrick's heart but she sure could work on mine.
She sat on the other end of the phone as I sobbed and wondered out loud how I could allow poisons to course through Patrick's body in the name of healing after his leukemia diagnosis. How was I going to tell my bigger kids? How could I possibly do this? Somehow she could be calm and make sense of things that made no sense to me.
Together we were silent on the phone in wonderment that our worlds were going to collide: in 2006 we were both pregnant...found out on the same day...and all we could do was be stunned. I was convinced that I would miscarry at my ripe old age but miraculously the universe conspired to have my last baby and her first baby born four weeks to the day apart. Our girls share the same middle name, Claire, after our mom Linda Claire. They are stunning and amazing and connected in a cosmic way, the very best of friends.
Caroline Claire and Elizabeth Claire