A philosophy I've come to live by, and, at times, teach, is this: No matter how difficult your circumstance or trial, no matter how tired or stressed you feel, there is always a reason to smile and always a reason to hope.
Today, my reason to smile was a surprise text conversation I had with my nine-year-old sister. I'm still not clear on all the details, but it appears she had borrowed our sister's cell phone and wanted to text me. So, a little after 5:00pm this evening, I received the first text:
5:07 Ellen: What are you doing ellen? (Which clued me in that even though the text was sent from Loveduck's phone, the text was not from Loveduck.)
5:08 Me: Well, I just finished eating dinner. Now, I'm just listening to music while playing a game on my ipod. What are you doing?
5:10 Ellen: What game?
5:11 Me: It's called Sevens Pod. You have to play your cards faster than your opponent. It's fun. What are you doing?
5:13 Ellen: I i
5:16 Me: What?
5:19 Ellen:On monday i have no shcool.
5:20 Me: That's fun! Why don't you have school?
5:22 Ellen: Because it's a holiday
5:24 Me: Memorial day? And guess what? If Loveduck's mission call comes this week, i'll come home!
5:25 Ellen: Yes!
5:26 Me: I'm excited to see you!
5:27 Ellen: Me to!
This is where it really gets funny!
5:36 Ellen: Have you send?
5:36 Me: What?
5:40 Ellen: Have you send Me A text (I thought we were done with the conversation, but I guess she wasn't!)
5:41 Me: Oh, no, not for a bit. What movie are you watching tonight?
5:43 Ellen: I am not.
5:44 Me: You're not going to watch a movie and eat popcorn?! But that's what we always do on sunday evening!
5:46 Ellen: Loveduck cant eat popcorn but we will next week :) (Loveduck got her wisdom teeth out a few days ago, so no popcorn for her for a while!)
5:47 Me: Oh, I see! How is Loveduck feeling today? Are you helping to cheer her up?
5:49 Ellen: Macoronee (What? Pretty sure she was referring to macaroni, but why? Maybe I just hope she was trying to type macaroni and this is just a nine-year-old's adorable misspelling. But also, maybe she made a mistake and didn't know how to delete it, so she just sent it. Either way, I laughed so hard at that one!)
5:50 Ellen: I am making her feel better and she is eating yogurt but she is not eating
5:51 Me: Well, you are a good sister for helping her to feel better! I wish I could come help! I bet it hurts her to try to eat food. Give her a hug for me, ok?
5:54 Ellen: I will give her a huh i love you!
5:55 Me: I love you too, sweetheart!
Later in the evening, when I could be fairly certain Ellen wasn't playing with Loveduck's phone, I texted her to ask if Ellen had help with those texts. Turns out, Ellen mostly did it herself, but had some help with one or two of the longer ones. Interesting.
I'm so grateful for Ellen and all the times she has been my reason to smile. Ever since she was born, she has been the sun that shines on my darkest days. I love her more than she can ever know.