As I wrote in my last post, there have been a lot of goodbyes in my life recently. And they've had me thinking. I go back to a conversation I had with a friend of mine last year. We can choose to be sad that we've lost someone close to us. And we're allowed to be sad.
But we can choose to be glad too. We can choose to thank God in the midst of grief. We are lucky because God has chosen to give us some pretty important people in our lives. And if you're like me, and you are still crying 8 years later, then you're even luckier. Those people that pass through your life and go on their merry way? They are a part of your journey. But those ones that impact your heart for the rest of your life? What a glorious gift.
Missing those people, wishing you could hug them one last time, or tell them you love them because you can't help but feel that you didn't say it enough,is a gift. If you still think of them years later, you also have memories of them. Happy memories, or funny memories. Poignant memories. And a legacy.
You can tell those around you that you love them. You can hug them. You can create memories for you both to look back at and laugh. Or cry.
My kids asked me today if I could tell them about my Aunt. They wanted to know if I knew her secrets, and if I could share them. She was one heck of a women. From an early age life kept knocking her down. But she never let it stop her. She always got back up. She was a stabilizing force in our family, always putting the family before herself. She had a wicked sense of humor. She was loyal to a fault. She could throw with amazing aim (just ask me about "what's green?" one day). And she loved without measure.
She taught me that love is unconditional.
That family is the most important thing you have ever been given.
Life is to be lived.
You are never too old to learn something new.
Forgiveness is always an option.
There is always something to be thankful for.
I don't know her secrets. I don't know how she always got back up when she was down, put a smile on her face and kept on trucking.
I do know that she left behind a legacy. And each time I think of her, I can choose to show my kids just a sliver of who she was. I can show my gratitude by paying the most important parts of her forward. Maybe that's the secret...