I am left speechless at the overwhelming number of absolutely amazing things that God has allowed me to have. When I look back and think of the worst times in my life, I am calmed by Him knowing what others have had to endure. Needless to say, I am blessed beyond belief. I was reminded of this so often over the past week and have searched for ways to bring some of what I witnessed into my everyday life. My aunt, who I call Chi-Chi (no idea why), was visiting from Washington. This is the aunt who used to let me run wild when she was in town which was in huge contrast to my mom’s endless rules…I am an only child, who can blame her? This is the aunt who lovingly dressed up like Minnie Mouse for one of my birthday parties. I am talking a full on mascot outfit in Texas weather. Ok, I know my birthday is in December but that means nothing…there have plenty of Christmas morning’s that I went outside to try out my new toys in shorts and tank tops. This is also the aunt that lost her one and only, beautiful, God-given angel less than a year ago. That is the part I cannot get passed, my heart is still broken for her.
I remember the exact moment that we found out that my cousin, Kari, had gone home to the Lord. My mom and I had just picked out my wedding cake and were on our way home. We had separate cars since we had met up after work and she was behind me. The next thing I realized, my mom had stopped her car on the side of the road and when I looked back I just saw her slumped over in the driver’s seat. Of course I thought something was wrong with my mom so I turned around and pulled over. She was crying and screaming…I had NEVER seen her like this before. She told me that Kari had been found dead and that was all she could get out. We eventually got home and my mom took the next flight to Washington to be with my aunt…she stayed for almost a month.
I felt guilty so often, and still do, because as much as I wish it could have been different, I didn’t know my cousin all that well so in turn, I felt like I wasn’t feeling what I should. It didn’t sink in really until this past week when Chi-Chi was in town; this was the first time I had seen her in five years. When I went to my mom’s to visit early in the week I could sense an uneasy feeling. It was like it upset my aunt for me to be around, maybe because she saw my mom and I together and it made her want her daughter, her Kari. She saw how my mom and I could laugh at old stories and cook dinner together and she missed that. It made my mom feel guilty for having me there because she could see how it hurt my aunt. At first it hurt me to have these feelings coming my way but I had to take a step back to see that it wasn’t about me. I can’t imagine what on earth it must feel like to lose a child. I don’t even have one of my own yet but I think this feeling extends to everyone whether it is a child, a parent, a spouse, a friend etc. Somehow I know in my heart that the worst of these would be to lose a child and I pray everyday that I will never know that kind of pain. God holds her hand everyday to walk her through this valley… I know without a doubt that both my aunt and my mom love me more than anything. I also know that you have to love the people in your life every part of every day. I am guilty of being the wife that says “I love you” to Drew 1000 times a day but I want to leave no doubt. I don’t want a day to go by that he doesn’t know that he is my life and someday when we have kids I will do the same to them.
I have a few friends from the high school days that have little ones of their own now…we don’t really keep in touch that often but because I am a “facebook/blogger creeper” (haha) I know a little of what goes on in their lives. They are great mothers and I pray for them every night that their families will be safe and love will overflow in their homes. My aunt will miss Kari for the rest of her life but I know that someday they will see each other again and that calms my heart.
Go out there and LOVE today…