Ceiba carried on conversation; I could see she noticed, but she didn't burst out, "Are you crying?", which if you know her, is unusual. I kept talking... and crying... no change in mood or character and not missing a beat. Maybe I smiled too much. Eventually, she said, "Why are you sad?".
"Oh honey, I'm okay. This song just makes me miss my sister is all."
"Aunt Debbie." It was more of a statement than a question. She knew.
I nodded, Avocet now lying her head gently in my lap, tired from school, but a sentimental soul.
"I just really wish you could have met her."
In a few minutes, they were both quietly crying. There was never excitement, just their little hearts watching their Mama be emotional and vunerable.
I generally try to be strong. I know how empowering it was to watch my strong mother when I was a girl. And while they are familiar with me getting teary over a sad movie and things like that, I don't think they know what to make of me just crying in the middle of the day. I was conscious to keep composed and to keep smiling. To comfort them and let them know it was just the thought of a song and then watching the two of them that brought on a moment. To know that everything was just fine.
They talked on the way home about her. They asked questions, and I gave answers and expanded into stories. While one asked what day she died, and I knew, but said we could remember her birthday instead.
"Did she look like you?"
"Yes, very much. She was just like me, but sweeter and with not as big of a mouth as Mama."
"She had a small mouth?"
"Well, that just means she spoke softer and was not as loud. It's just an expression."
Time heals all wounds, they say. If I live to 200, I guess maybe it might.