Yes, normally my blogs are full of sarcasm and humor, but occasionally I write to be serious. Yesterday we lost a relative who was such a special lady: a joy, a unique soul that was irreplaceable and will be missed. No, I'm not going to be cliche and say that she "lit up a room", but she did have a big personality that could certainly fill a room. When people hear that your loved one passed, they always ask, "Were you close?" Why is that? Why does it matter? Even if you weren't the closest of friends, loss is still loss, and you don't often realize how close you were or what your relationship meant until that person is gone.
Even though I only saw my aunt once a year when she came for a few weeks to stay with my parents, I always looked forward to seeing her, knowing that our time together would be filled with laughter and memories of good times past. I always loved to get cards from her because she was the only person I knew that still sent cards that were filled with hand-written messages so plentiful that her words spilled from the center of the card to the very last bit of white space on the back. No one takes that kind of time to sit down and hand write like that anymore, and receiving something so thoughtful always made me feel special.
One of my favorite memories of her was when she and my mom came to help me move home from college one summer. Just as any frugal college student does (no, I don't often refer to myself as frugal - ever), my roommates and I had "dumpster dove" a hideous sofa from previous dorm residents, and that sofa needed to make its way back to the dumpster area once again to get picked up by another strong-armed dorm dweller. As my aunt helped push that ugly, tattered, and unnaturally heavy sofa, she exclaimed, "I think it just inverted my nipple!" Yes, she was hilarious, and that is how I will always remember her - laughing and full of life.
I read a friend's timely blog yesterday that talked about how petty our problems really are and that most of us need a daily dose of perspective. Sometimes losses such as these are the reminders we need to tell us how good we actually have it, to help us to focus on the many blessings we have in our lives despite the daily turmoil and stress. My boys, as much work as they are on a daily (and hourly) basis, are amazing and are the loves of my life. I appreciate them today now more than ever.
As we mourn the loss of a family member, we will also remember the laughter and love that she brought to our lives. Take time today to be thankful for the blessings in your life: your home, your job, your children, your spouse. Try to cherish the people in your lives and make them feel special because you never know how long you will have with them.
For you, Sylvia. I wish you could have met my son Cambridge, and I wish I could have spent one more afternoon laughing with you, but I thank you for the beautiful memories and some much-needed perspective.
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