Life is forever changing. It begins and it ends.
A new normal to be found when it ends. Only memories to carry us through, the sound of their laughter, the knowledge they imparted upon us and the love they carried for us.
It is our turn to carry on their memory & their legacy. To share who they were with those who come after they are gone.I have learned in my life that death is as much a part of life as birth. I have also learned what it is to find the "new normal" when that space is now empty. The chair where they sat at the family dinner table is no longer filled.
I have learned in the past 2 days about the loss of an uncle and a very good family friend - who we consider family.
My Uncle Bob didn't live close by and was my mom's last surviving sibling. I was in his wedding, once upon a time. I remember him living at my grandma & grandpa's when I was a little girl and always flipping his silver dollars - just begging for me to try and catch them & run away!
He soon married and moved to Indiana, and then later to the Grand Rapids area where he was a teacher. Maybe he's where I get the love of my job from?
It's bittersweet to know that my mom's family is gone and that my sisters, cousins & I are now "the family". It is up to us to carry on their legacy and share the stories and the memories and the love our grandparents instilled into their children for God.
The other is of the mom of our very close friends. She is pictured above on the right in the beautiful floral jacket & long black skirt.
Linda was a beautiful soul who loved life and loved her family unconditionally. She enjoyed laughing, reading, cooking (I love her stuffed peppers) and she loved the beach. Kindred spirits she & I were in that area!
She battled cancer for the last year and sadly, lost that battle early this morning.
I have been quietly reflecting all day of these two wonderful souls. I am so very grateful to have known them both and that they were a part of my life. They blessed me in so many ways.
I sit and listen to that quiet laugh of my Uncle Bob in my mind. How his whole face would light up when he laughed and the how he would grab that silver dollar just as I thought for sure it was in my grasp. The quiet demeanor of him when we were together as a family at Christmas' past. The hug he embraced me in when he came to the hospital to see my mom & I had walked him out to his car so he didn't get lost in the hospital.
I hear in my mind the laugh of Linda and the stories she would share of the alligator who lived in the pond behind their condo. How she was upset, yet hopeful, that when they came to remove him, he would be taken alive and set free where he should be.
I see her face glowing at the wedding of her grandson and the joy she held in her heart having her whole family together not only at the wedding, but for Christmas that year as well. I remember her telling me how long it had been since they had all been together for Christmas and how her heart was overflowing with happiness to celebrate together once again.
Life changes every moment of every day. It changes so fast.
So I choose to reflect, record in my journal and in my mind, those moments to cherish later in the still, quiet space of my heart.
Uncle Bob and Linda - you are gone from this earth, but your memory is carried on in the hearts and minds of so many, mine included. I thank you both for all that you were to me and that God honored me with the chance to know you.
May we all reflect and be still and remember those that we cherish most and never forget who they are in our life.