• Seventh grade, and my sister's face reminds me of paintings. Hannah's nose is just right, between my other sister’s button nose and my ski slope. Her eyes are a pretty hazel color, and her lashes are long. Her pink little lips purse together a bit and her expression looks solemn and contemplating when she’s in just the right mood. She’s started wearing makeup, a bit of blush to her cheeks and light colors to her eyelids. I don’t really like the eye shadow, but the blush is nice. She is tall for her age, and her body is willowy. This can translate to an awkward gangliness on the basketball court, but just standing a head above her friends it vanishes into what I imagine to be a sort of dignity behind her shrill laughter and bad jokes. Sometimes it’s difficult to remember, in the midst of all of her exhausting energy and repetitious chatter, lingering cautiously on some words and charging ahead with others, but she is lovely.

    Today my mom told me that one of my great-aunt’s twin sons has died. He was severely autistic, as is his brother, who probably doesn’t have very long to live. I never met them, so I couldn’t be properly sad. They were in foster care until their caretaker became too old to keep it up. Their other brother had to make the decision to pull the plug. There will probably be a memorial service of some kind in the spring.

    And as my mother talked I stared at Hannah’s head, admiring the way her hair fell so straight down her back and rebellious strands shone golden in the sunlight.