Last year, I wrote this Strange, Belated “Happy Birthday” to My Sister, Cindy DeBoer:
Walking at the lake today, I encountered a young family. The mom was picking what looked like wild green tomatoes from the weeds by the path. I stopped to admire the pile of fruit. The husband came over. Short and shirtless, he had the sort of build that told me “this man fears few things.” I asked, “Do you eat these?” Smiling, he answered, “Yes, we eat these in our country.” “What is your country?” “Nepal.” “Oh, so you lived at high elevation?” “Yes, we have the tallest mountain in the world.” “You cook these before eating them, right?” (I recognized them as some form of nightshade). “Yes.” “Well, God bless you.” I resumed my walk and sighed, “God, let me meet them again in Heaven.” Later, it occurred to me that if I do meet them in Heaven, they’ll probably say, “You’re Cindy DeBoer’s little brother, aren’t you!” By then, she’ll be known Heaven-wide as the one who loved strangers well, and did more than ask rudimentary questions. She’s my big sister, and I still have a lot to learn from her.