Heading off to Florida today for a book signing event at the Palm Beach Bookstore tomorrow, Dec. 5th at 1:30. My heart is conflicted in making this trip. My nieces, my sister’s daughters, are there and I am truly happy to be seeing them both–as well as my sister’s grandsons. They have planned a reception of friends to welcome my Florida book event–and that touches me very deeply. The last time I was in Florida this summer, though, I witnessed my sister’s last breath and said goodbye to my first best friend. When we were growing up and would have the inevitable fights and slamming of doors that all sisters have, my mother would break in with “when I’m gone, you’ll have each other–now make up!” She had promised that. We did have each other to lean on through our parents’ deaths, just five years ago. But, I wasn’t prepared to have lost my sister so soon–and now to have lost them all. Maybe we are never prepared for that. Packing for this trip, where I know the the weather will be warm and I won’t need my New England sweaters, I find myself reaching for a bundle of responsibility from my bottom dresser drawer and tucking it into the side pocket of my suitcase. I can’t wait to hug my nieces, to hug them for my sister, and to feel her with me through them.