I crawled into bed at 9pm last night, wondering how I got to this place. How did the last 2 weeks fly by me so quickly? We left for Texas knowing that my aunt Anita was in the hospital and not doing well, but knowing that if her body could hold out a few more days she could recover from the cold/pneumonia she contracted. It never did.
On my way home from Texas all I could think of was my sorrow and knowing that I needed to repack for the trip to NE. I didn't want to have to say goodbye. How do people do it? How do people say goodbye to people so close to them?
This was my aunt...a non-blood relative, who had been in my life less than 15 years. I loved her like she'd been in my life forever, but never the less, she was my aunt. I thought of my uncle Steven who had to say goodbye to his wife. This was the woman he dated for 9 years before he said "I do". He waited over 40 years to find her in the first place and now he was saying goodbye.
How did Tammy and Ed say goodbye to their mother? How did Farrah, only 18 years old, say goodbye to her grandmother? How did Chuck and John say goodbye to their sister? How did my grandmother say goodbye to her daughter-in-law? How did my mother say goodbye to the sister-in-law she loved more dearly than as her own sister?
I have felt the pain of losing my aunt and I can't imagine the pain of losing a parent, grandparent, brother, child or spouse.
As I sit here looking at a rose that was given to me from her casket, I will remember her smile and her laugh and all the joy she gave me. I'll remember her driving out to Denver, by herself, to help co-host Nora's baby shower. I'll remember her beautiful singing voice, and our impromptu duet at a family gathering many years ago. I'll remember the joy she brought to my mother and all their trips to Hawaii together. All remember the love between her and my uncle. I will remember you Anita, always.