The last time I saw Gaylene was last May, and the time before that was my graduation from Shasta Bible College in 2004. I hate that this general principle is often true: that when siblings grow up together in the same house each other's presence is unwanted, but when they are grown up and desirous of each others' company the distance and busy lifestyle barriers are difficult to overcome. Gaylene is five years older than me, so our younger years at home were not spent contemplating the joys of familial connection. I spent most of those early years attempting to annoy her, and she was indeed was annoyed.
Gaylene has a sense of humor that I truly enjoy. Ours is an "Ott" humor cultivated in a home that seldom took itself seriously. With the help of her husband, Jeff, my niece and nephew (Haley and William) will likely develop that sense of humor too. They live fairly close to my parents, so that portion of the family is able to gather regularly. For all the blessings I have encountered in Texas, I often regret not living closer to my family, whose company is always an uplifting joy.
I think specifically of Gaylene though since this is yet another Christmas that I will not see her for. I can't recall the last one we shared. My parents visited for Thanksgiving, which was a wonderful time. However, Christmas will come and go again without the company of my one and only sibling just at a time when family relationships is becoming more important to me than ever. I miss you Gaylene. Hope you guys have a Merry Christmas!