While you read, check out this great song by John Butler Trio.
According to Facebook and social media, National Sibling Day recently happened. It was sometime last week (you can tell how much attention I paid to it). I didn’t post anything (like many of my friends) describing how great and phenomenal my sister Lisbeth is, with lots of old pictures of sentimental things, A) because that’s not really my style and B) because my sister doesn’t need a Facebook post to let her know how I feel and how awesome/badass/slightly terrifying she is. She knows she’s a boss. Since moving to the border, I obviously haven’t gotten to see her as much as usual or as much as I like, but we still can talk and know what’s going on in each others’ lives, for which I’m thankful.
Fast forward a couple of days to our weekly prayer vigil. Like I’ve said, we gather weekly to remember those who have died trying to cross the desert into the US here in Cochise County. At the end we have a time of sharing over three crosses, praying for them and their families. This time there was a cross that struck me particularly hard.
Her name was Virginia Lizbeth Mejía Mejía.
Wow. It got me. Though Virginia spelled Lizbeth differently from my sister, it still was incredibly close to home. Virginia had been born a couple of years before my sister, and had sadly lost her life much earlier than was necessary. Seeing her name made me think again of how grateful I am to still have my sister, to still be able to have her presence in my life. I can call her with questions. I can text her, and get reminder texts from her about whose birthday it is and who recently got engaged or pregnant. I even get to visit her in a few weeks. I am incredibly lucky and happy to have her still in my life.
It also made me remember all of the people who no longer have that person they can reach out to. They have lost families members; brothers, sisters, moms, dads, cousins, the list goes on. This doesn’t just apply to migrants either. This is something that people every single day and everywhere the world over experience. I can only imagine what that must be like. It helped me realize that we are all somebody’s sibling. That jerk that cut you off in traffic. That annoying person who got the last slice of pizza. That ‘illegal alien’ that came to the US to support their family. Or comes here to be reunited with their sibling. Remember that regardless of how you feel towards someone, we are all a son or daughter, a brother or sister. We all have family that we love and wish to spend time with.
So try to treat that jerk who cut you off a little more kindly than yelling and giving them the bird. Try to be considerate to the person who got the last piece of pizza even though you wanted it. Try to show compassion to those who are risking their lives for a better life. And make sure you tell your people that you care about them.
Happy National Sibling Day Lisbeth. Sorry it’s late.