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My sister and I stand at the top of her street, looking down and away.

We’re filled with silent gratitude for our time together, amid many troubles.

We’re looking to the north, across the cityscape to smoky-blue mountains wreathed in fog.

It’s still dark, and the lights on Seymour and Grouse Mountains glimmer above the city, like bands of ice-blue steel.

It’s too early to wake the neighborhood, so we keep our voices low.

“What’s the third mountain?” I ask.

“Can’t remember,” she replies.  “I’ll call you at 3 in the morning when I think of it.”

It’s too early to think or speak clearly, and we didn’t sleep enough, so laugh, gently.  My sister, a nurse, has a way of laughing that lifts everyone who hears it.

The love of sisters is so special, it often makes my heart ache to be away from her.

So, leaving Canada as the sun rises over tugboats on the Fraser River, I’m thinking of this family visit, and a week of admiring British Columbia’s mountains.

We’re strong and we’re close, no matter the distance in geography and time.

I’m grateful for my sisters, and for our deep love and caring for one another, no matter what.