My nephew—my sister Maggie’s son—posted this photo of his mom on Facebook this morning. I have been looking at it, on and off, all day, waiting for a moment to stop, and let it speak it to me. Now, as the sun goes down and a light snow is falling, I look into my sister’s eyes and I see the whole story of her life in them. I see her mischief and her pain, her wildness and her wonder, her dreams and her doubts. I see her as a young woman, making music in a bluegrass band, picking wildflowers by the side of the road, tapping maple trees, raising chickens, going to nursing school, getting married, having her babies, making her art. I see us together, being sisters, having a language all our own, laughing until we wet our pants, misunderstanding each other, neglecting each other, yearning for each other but not knowing how to cross the divide. I see us rowing toward each other as we both went through our own crises: divorce, kids leaving home, us getting older, getting wiser, and then the long illness, and the bone marrow transplant, and our last year together, and then her death last January. I see all of this in the beauty of my sister’s face. Her whole life—cut off too soon, yet still, her life, her story. I miss everything about her. I’ve lost many people—my parents, friends, teachers, mentors—but I have never missed anyone like I miss my sister Maggie. This missing her has taught me something important: to love the people in my life more fully, more fiercely, more forgivingly. Joyfully, tenderly, vocally. To reach out instead of shrinking back. To say it. Whatever “it” may be--whatever needs to be said, whatever opens the gates, banishes the anger, melts the frozen ground, and gives love the best chance to blossom.