Smash and grab

My angel sister is my wings. She lifts me up, imploring me silently not to give up. She challenges me to stop feeling sorry for myself, and she wraps her humungus angel wings around my self, spirit and body, until I feel whole again.

My earthly sister is my flesh-and-blood. She is my patience, my tolerance, my ears that never stop listening while I ramble on about how stressful or irritating or disappointing life can be. She is my powerhouse cheerleader when I do something that is good, like vacuum or write a thank you note.

My boys are my warrior tumbler singer of songs that involve dinosaurs and swords and secret treehouses and outerspace. They are my heart.

My husband is still the same guy with whom I fell in love, only better, stronger and more patient and more revealing, and I wish I was the same girl, most days, but I am not.

But not all days.

I like the woman who I am becoming, sort of. It strikes a note of fear deep within to admit it. But let’s face it – the girl/woman who I knew before my sister died is long gone. She knows too much of absence and tears; she is too mindful of what it feels like to hold a phone to her ear waiting for voicemail to kick in so she can hear her sister’s voice one last time, until the plan is cancelled and she listens to a stranger explaining that this line is no longer in service.

So who is this woman? Or who can she/I become?

The past few days have been less than great, taking into account misunderstandings and tired spirits and rain and everything else. So idiotically but optimistically I left my purse tucked under an old small towel in the car today. It was a weak and stupid attempt to hide something valuable, like, um, my identity: credit cards, drivers license, checkbook.

Coming off a six-miler in the rain along a misty trail, my spirits sung. My sister had lent me her angel wings for an hour.

Then I saw the glass. As in shattered with a capital S, the front door passenger side window was smashed to pieces and its sparkly evidence was all over the place. Smash and grab, my husband said knowingly.

I never know about this stuff.

I do not like the woman who makes this kind of a stupid mistake.

The thief moved quickly as I made calls all afternoon to cancel and replace. His (her?) first target: North Face for a $399 buy. Are you kidding me? I wish I had almost four hundred dollars to spend at North Face.

In the purse there were two Clif Kidz Bars for snack after school. Losing them ticked me off almost as much as the loss of my credit cards.

He also struck Home Depot to make a purchase of two unidentified items. I guess he wasn’t as much into Pier One. And that, readers, is the extent of my credit cards. Unless he wants to visit the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), he didn’t find much else (definitely no cash).

The people I spoke to on the phone reminded me of the pleasant people of Camazotz, a planet of strictly enforced conformity detailed in my very favorite book since childhood: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. Robotic, each of them apologized for my loss, and wished me a wonderful day at the close of the call. They were helpful and patient, and only one of them chuckled when he asked me if I had been shopping at North Face¬†today.


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