When I moved to Michigan, I left a huge piece of myself behind in California. I had so many friends, and my siblings were there as well. It wasn't long before I found myself desperately homesick. I would dream at night I was back at home in California, and when I woke up and saw I was still 2300 miles from everything familiar, I would lie in bed and cry.
One night, I was so lonely and homesick, I called my sister, Debbie. We were crying on the phone, and wishing we could get together. As we talked, it got very late, and I went outside to sit on the swing in the dark. I looked up at the sky. The moon and the Big Dipper were clearly visible in the cold Michigan sky. As I looked at them, I asked Debbie if it was dark yet in California. She said it was, and I told her to go outside and look at the sky - to see the moon and look for the Big Dipper. I waited, and asked if she could see them.
After a few minutes, she excitedly said she could. And together, we looked at the same moon and stars, and suddenly the world didn't seem so big - and our hearts didn't seem so far apart.
Fifteen years later, Debbie unexpectedly passed away. And there are days, like today, when I miss her terribly. I don't know what brings it on, but I do know it hurts. I never stop wishing she was here, and I treasure so many precious memories in my heart. Sometimes I cling to those memories, and they help me get through the moment. Or the hour. Or the day. Or the week. Or the month. But I do get through.
Tonight, I will be looking for the Big Dipper.