By PRECIOUS KELLY

Rantoul Press columnist

We have screaming matches; not the kind you might expect.

We greet each other this way — each scream louder and higher than the last

until we both reach our maximum pitch.

I don’t know if it’s because my dad embedded the family’s musical playlist with classical compositions and arias, but we love those high-pitched, head tones.

Specifically, for my youngest sister and I, we love to scream.

My youngest sister is a petite lady, her hair black and wavy with an auburn tint.

Her eyebrows are feathery and black too. I just love her smile.

It looks as if she were laughing.

When I walk into my sister’s room, her head tilts so she can listen.

Hearing is her foremost sense.

She was born with severe cerebral palsy, a kind of disorder that is usually caused by brain damage or injury surrounding birth and affects motor skills and the like (my synopsis from Google search). She has limited speech, vision — unknown. She can’t walk or take care of herself, but she can laugh with you and at you.

Don’t start singing a barrage of notes and get off-key; you will get laughed at.

My sister has a sense of humor to say the least.

Her eyes flicker when she is happy. She tightens her arms and kicks her legs.

Just a few words addressed to her will get her to screamin’.  

When I visit my parents’ house, I’ll find my dad in the office, my mom in the kitchen; and then I’ll make my way to my sister’s room.

She’ll let me know if I have been away too long. I’ll go to kiss her cheek, and she’ll holler back.

I’ll plead, "I am sorry I haven’t visited for a long time. I am so sorry."

You’ll see her face soften and a smile graciously appear. She is so forgiving.

I wonder what she does all day; so, I’ll ask her, and she’ll tell me.

Then I’ll respond, "Oh, is that what they said?"

I really wish I understood what she says. She is verbalizing something, so I offer responses.

She seems to like when I affirm her statements.

You can tell if they are happy or unpleasant ones judging by her tone.

She’ll keep talking, and I’ll have another question to ask her just for fun.

I’ll call her name repeatedly until she pauses and allows me to ask my silly question.

"Do you know where my purse is?" I ask her for all the things I have misplaced.

Often, she’ll have an amused look on her face like, "As if you expect me to answer that."

There are also times I come into the room and she is not cooperating and doesn’t seem to be in her usual cordial mood. This is when I get busy.

I’ll snuggle beside her, sing to her, pray for her and just be present with her.

If her health is good that day, she will eventually lighten up.

At other times, no matter what I do, she will not be cheerful.

All of a sudden, she’ll throw a kiss (click) resembling an "African clicking-language" sound. (Our mom taught her that.) I’ll thank her like five times; then she’ll give me a slight smile.

I believe it’s her thank-you. She would be engaging if she only felt better.

It’s when I see lives like my sister’s I realize that though circumstances and situations may presume life isn’t fair and that some people are more misfortunate than others, this is not true.

As creatures, each of our lives holds a part of a beautiful history.

Yes, history — His story. (My dad taught me that.)

King Solomon says, "(God) has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end" Eccl. 3:11 (NIV)

Mysterious as life can be, there’s no mistaking the miracle of it all.

It is incredible to see my youngest sister who through pain and severe physical limitations from pre-infancy to adulthood screams her part of the story. She demonstrate that life is not confined to one’s physical, mental or natural boundaries.

The spirit surpasses the circumstance, the situation, the temporary.

At times we may question the importance of our lives, the value of our being.

During those times let us ask our Creator, what is my part in your beautiful story?

Quote of the month: "Fear will not answer for me." — Bishop James E Washington

Precious A. Kelly, a native of Rantoul, writes a Christian-based monthly column to inspire faith, hope and love. She welcomes correspondence at precious.angelkelly@aol.com