Sunny Promises

Five days of constant rain and dark clouds were coming to an end. I knew that sunlight was in the forecast at some point today, but I got so used to the drizzly rain and comfortably dark sky, I didn’t think much of the forecast. I wanted to avoid it. I wanted to pretend that it’s going to continue to be cloudy as long as I want it to be. But just as it was anticipated, the cloudy days were over, yielding its path to the intense sun rays. And I was not ready.

The day my sister flew out of the Dulles Airport, it started raining. We had a spotless sunny sky for ten days, exactly the number of days my sister from Korea stayed here. Blissful days they were, three sisters finally united, and every morning, I woke up with a sense of completion. Nothing was lacking. My heart felt so full, and I felt so content that the world could not offer me anything because I was lacking nothing. From the economist’s perspective, people like me would be the call of the end of a thriving economy. Now that my sister has left, I need more coffee than normal in the mornings to make up for my lost sleep to crying until late at night. I need to buy more gas to make visits to my other sister that lives an hour away, to my parents that lives half an hour away, and I need to stock up my fridge to provide some snacks for my friend coming for a visit to fill my empty nest, my empty heart.

I sat at the courtyard of my local chapel, our usual meeting place with P from Stephen Ministry to have our weekly meeting. It was in the middle of the hottest summer days when we first started our relationship in God. Now, we are cocooned in the deep autumn surrounded by the fallen leaves, and with our feet on the wet autumn rain, covering our cold legs with a winter blanket. Soon, I realized, we will have to come up with a different location somewhere inside where we could stay warm. What a different a sister’s visit makes. It was summer, bright and sunny, and then, boom, she leaves, and you are left with cold autumn, facing the fast-approaching winter. I am suddenly scared of December, when my sister’s birthday will be celebrated without us as well as the Christmas. It will be a cold, lonely month for her, alone in Korea, and it will be a sad month for the rest of us here in the US. I miss her dearly. Enough to consider moving back to Korea.

But the sunny day arrived at my door nonetheless. The sunlight today on the way back home from my errands was quietly whispering to my still-weeping heart, it’s time to look ahead, now you need to move forward. I gave you enough time to grieve. Find joy and let life live through you once again. Enjoy each day because this life is a brand new gift to be opened every morning and not a single day must go wasted. Cherish every memory and love every present, and then the future will never disappoint you. 

I must confess, I am not ready to stop clinging to my memories of my sister here. The thought of not being able to share my daily life with her for the next… however many years, greatly saddens me. But today, on that drive back home in the uncomfortably exposing sunny ray, I decided that tomorrow, I will do my best to enjoy my day without her. I will let the hope of our reunion in the future over-power my sadness of yet another day gone by without seeing each other. I will try my best to overcome this earthly attachment and lift my eyes, once again, to what’s real, to the Eternal Now.


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