“How old is that range top?” Regina, the middle sister of the three of us looked over at me this past Tuesday evening, “That range top was here when Mama and Daddy built on the kitchen to this house. What year was that?”
Elizabeth, our eldest sister, and I started to back track the years. I was only four when we moved out of that house, the first place that I knew as a home. I told them it had to be before (aw poo, I’m giving away my age here) 1964 when we moved. Regina asked if that was after Kennedy was shot, and Elizabeth said it was.
I told them I remembered where the TV console stood in the room and how I recalled Daddy watching the news, shaking his head, saying he knew it would happen while my Mama cried. Elizabeth and Regina nodded saying it was just that way, and then they told me that I was only a little thing, on my knees, crying in front of the TV. From that we figured the old kitchen range had been in that house, working hard, plucking away since 1963 or before. We sat at the kitchen table in that same house, now my sister’s home, plucking away together, reminiscing.
My sister Regina looked around at us and said, “This is good.”
“What is?” Elizabeth asked.
“This.” Regina gestured around at the three of us, together, talking, being sisters.
Families are weird. We get along, we don’t. We bash each other, but if an outsider tried, watch out. I can’t count the times I got on Regina’s nerves growing up. There were countless when times I stole her make-up and denied it. She knew I had, you couldn’t miss the lipstick stains on a six-year-old’s shirt collar. Elizabeth was always the other Mama, taking care of us, lending a hand, singing me to sleep. I wouldn’t trade all the ups and downs, the arguments, the sibling rivalry for anything. Not even the saddest moments. They are my family, my history, my present, and God willing, a part of my future.
It’s funny that something so innocent as sitting around a kitchen table can make you aware of what is important. I hope I hang on to it, appreciate it, and realize, just like my sister said, this is good.