Some 35,000 feet above Calipatria, I sat watching two children fold down their trays and deal each other a hand of some card game. I imagine it was War or Gin Rummy, because that's what my brother and I played for hours that felt like days, locked inside his bedroom on sunny afternoons. We didn't have much, but we always had a deck of cards - and each other.
This is where a normal blogger would insert a picture of happy childhood whimsy, but I don't have any of those. Oddly enough, I seem to have the happy and the whimsy.
It wasn't until we hit a patch of turbulence that the memory of learning how to fight (and sometimes win, when he let me) with a deck of cards was jolted back to the memories of that bedroom, that house, those parents, that life. It was long time, longer than ever before, that I was able to be perfectly happy inside the memory of my past.
Time. Time and perspective. What wonderful healers are thy.
I remember, when I was a little girl in our little home with little of anything, laying in bed every night saying my prayers. We didn't pray like people usually pray; we believed that a prayer was a conversaiton and that you really ought not squander the chance. We talked, to God or someone or no one, and today I know that I was really just meditating my way through a really hard life, but then all I knew was gratitude for having someone to hand everything over to every night, someone to share my story with.
I prayed, not for what we didn't have, but for all that we did. I was so thankful for a roof, for walls, for heat coming out of the vents and what very little food was in the cupboards, on the days there was any. It's funny how, when you have nothing, everylittlething seems so wondrous, such a gift.
And it was. It still is.
All of this, even the hard parts, are full of wonder. And I, for one, living all of them happy.
I had to remember that happiness isn't something I am ever going to have, it's something I have to do as often as I can. I'm trying to do more of it. Happy feels good.
Of being happy because of, not in spite of, who we are.
I am card games on cold, wood floors under windows without curtains, in the quiet space between what had happened and what was coming next. I am Eddie's little sister, and I am still learning.