When my older sister and I were young women, just embarking on that bothersome interlude between teen and adult, we went with our family on a cross country trip from the Midwest to California.
We were close but different. She was the talker, I was the listener. But I loved talking/listening together! We would talk about nothing and everything. One of my fondest memories of our friendship at this time was the notes and letters she would send me. It started when she allowed me, a lowly underclassman, to share a locker with her, a totally established senior in high school. She would slip me a note in between classes or stuff one somewhere visible on the locker's shelf, sweet nothings that meant everything to me.
On our trip out West, we passed a small town deep in the miles of arid deserts we waved goodbye to from the windows of our air conditioned car. Rosa Amarilla. I knew from my years of highschool Spanish that this meant, Yellow Rose. Knowing that yellow roses were the symbolic gift of friendship, my sister dubbed me thence and henceforth with a new code name for our secret communication: Yellow Rose. It was a name that has since been celebrated with gifts and momentos honoring our friendship, many emblazoned with this title or simply echoed in their color choice.
My daughters are even closer in age than my sister and I. Their closeness these days is marked more by bitter bickerings and frustrated sharing but even now they have begun to share a language all their own. Quotes from movies that only they would recognize, garbled languages that mean nothing to everyone else, spot on imitations of accents from East India, and smothered snickers deep under covers when the lights finally go out for the night. They may not recognize it now but they are busy in the building of memories and the establishment of a friendship and sisterhood that I pray will last them a lifetime.
Earlier this week I took my girls out for a photoshoot deep within a vacant lot of glorious yellow flowers. While not a decadent carpet of roses, the yellow from nature's weeds reflected in their eyes and their smiles as the setting sun threw it's golden rays their way.
To Eliana and Eden, may the sun never set on your burgeoning friendship. May you find ways to seek within your sister a playmate and confidante, understanding that she was heaven sent just for you.