Notes from a Native Daughter

"Fire and Rain" by Princess Rachella

I tried... make it through the day without major drama.

Spent the first hour of "Winky's" birthday (yep, midnight to 1 o'clock) stapling and folding contracts (for Cairo teachers.)

Awakened at 6 a.m. to the unfamiliar sound of my alarm clock. (Retirement and alarm clocks do not mix!) The reason for that jarring experience being that today was "distribution day" for those aforementioned contracts. My (volunteered) assignment for today was Cairo Jr/Sr High former haunts.

Hey...trying that "distraction thing" that my friends oft prescribe.

After completing my mission, I decided to check out Rachel's blog. She's been on vacation and out of contact for the past week. Oh, Rachel did call me on August 12th (my birthday) to check up on me...and rub it in a bit. But, hey, how many folks do you know who get a long-distance birthday greeting from deepest, darkest Africa?!

Anyway, when Rachel's latest post appeared on the screen, that's when I lost it...

For some dumb reason, I wasn't expecting Rachel to be commenting upon today...the significance of today for us.

As I said...DUMB!

The furthest thing from my mind today was writing/posting a new edition.

I mean, I've been "good"'s been almost two months since my last posting, and that was a memorial listing in a magazine. It's been almost three months since I "penned" the epilogue to "The Book".

My only plan for today was to visit the check up on the condition of some fresh flowers that I had placed there for Julie on my birthday.

After reading Rachel's blog, I figured...okay, I'll post this to the website. Then...I'll head off for the florist and buy a dozen yellow roses. Family takes care of family...if that's what's on Rachel's mind on this special day, then with little effort on my part...that's exactly what will happen. Our "Winky" will get her yellow roses...

And then it happened!

The sign...

Remember...don't go looking for signs. When it's time, the sign will reach out and grab you...slap you right up side the head!

However, that's a story for later today...

This post is Rachel's post, so without further ado...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Fire and Rain

It's getting to the point where I'm mixing rainbows with sunsets these days. Every time I see one or the other, I'm always looking for a sign of some sort. Usually, I'm hoping that sign will be from my sister Julie.

Today would have been her 59th birthday, and it's the second year in a row when I haven't been able to pick up the phone and call to tell her I love her, or send her a dozen yellow roses. These days, I'm starting to feel a bit guilty about how okay I am, and how I've somehow managed to get on with my life, when there were plenty of times I couldn't imagine that possibility.

So last week during lazy evenings in the hammock or out on the Kipungani Explorer Lodge's dhow boat, I would search the sunsets for a message from Julie. It's like I wanted to see the actual words written out, "Good job, girl. Keep it up."

But I know she feels that way. I know she's still with me. Still, there are those moments. Like earlier today, when I used a James Taylor lyric as my Facebook status update:

"Oh, I've seen fire and I've seen rain. I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end. I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend. But I always thought that I'd see you baby, one more time again."

I think that's what I keep searching those fiery sunsets and those gleaming rainbows for. Just a glimpse of her sweet face, one more time again.

Happy Birthday, Winky.

Posted by Princess Rachella at 3:47 PM