207 Weeks in Michigan

Lake Michigan

This is available to us any night of the week. Well, it used to be. This will be our last night in Michigan.

I used to take Michigan for granted. Growing up here I just thought all states were filled with endless natural beauty and small freshwater oceans. Then I met and married a man from Illinois and learned that cornfields the size of small oceans were also possible. We lived in that world for fourteen years before giving Michigan another try.

It made sense at the time. We had no family left in Illinois. The combination of becoming parents, having a sister in Michigan who was battling breast cancer, and our shared willingness to do something “different” with our lives is what paved the way. And after four years, we have learned that what’s on the inside really is what matters most- even when it comes to places.

Don’t worry Michigan. You will always be the pretty one. Continue reading

It’s Complicated

 

This isn’t a post about autism. It’s about my sister, who passed away two years ago today.

For the first eight years of my life, I was the youngest child in the family. Eric and Amy were six and five years older than me- which meant they mostly liked me because I was little and cute. I was constantly used as a pawn in their battles. It was always two against one, and I am pretty sure I was never the “one” in that equation. They fought for my favor.

I shared a room with my sister, so she was at an obvious disadvantage. She didn’t like me touching her things, and she yelled at me a lot. Also, I was kind of a tomboy, which she did not relate to at all. I never let her put eyeliner on me or curl my hair, and she was always disappointing me by running home crying every time she got hit in the face during a neighborhood sporting event. It happened so frequently I am convinced she made an actual effort to catch things with her face.  Continue reading