Monday, February 7, 2011

The Faded Light

Waking up this morning, the sunrise doesn't seem so magnificent. The light doesn't seem to dance magically on the snow. The light seems to be dimmer. Last night was spent saying goodbye to a very special lady.

She was the mischievious one. The one with the infectious laugh and ready smile. She was the thoughtful one. She remembered every birthday, every name, every child and spouse of a large family. She kept the family tree. She was the quiet one, yet she always light up the room.

My Aunt Julie was the 7th child of my grandparents. She met her husband when she was 14 and was married to him for 44 years. She has 4 children and devoted her life to them and her grandchildren. You always say her with one of her kids if not all of them. The only job she ever held was being mom and she did a wonderful job at it. She was strong, dedicated and always there. When my mom died, her and my Aunt Rose stepped in. I could always turn to her when I got frustrated with raising my own kids. She always made time for whoever needed her.

She has been battling lung cancer for the last few years. In between the chemo treatments, she still found time to spend with her children and grandchildren. Every time they told her they had the cancer under control, it would appear somewhere else. The process would start over again. Her spirits stayed up and she did as much as she could.

Yesterday they told her that the cancer would take her. The doctors gave her 1-2 weeks left. Her daughter called to give the news. She had one simple request, she wanted to say goodbye to everyone that she could. The hardest part was seeing her with her family, saying goodbye. She told her husband "You are an idiot and you've really pissed me off, but I love you more than anything." She cried when her grandchildren came in. She told them she was sorry and not to be mad at her. She wanted to spend more time with them, she just couldn't. She told them she would be watching and anytime they needed to talk to her she would be listening. When I hugged her goodbye she told me she would give a hug and kiss to my mom for me.

You can have a lifetime with someone and yet it never seems like there was enough time. It's hard when someone you love is here one minute and gone the next. You wonder if they knew how you felt, how much you loved them, how important they were in your life. I think it is harder having the time to say goodbye though. Leaving all you love and live for behind.

My Aunt died last night. She could no longer "fight like a girl". Cancer had won again taking yet someone else who was very loved. She died peacefully and quietly, surrounded by her family, just as she lived her life.

I love you Aunt Julie, but it just wasn't long enough.


Today I found a penny,

Just laying on the ground.

But it's not just a penny,

This little coin I've found.

Found pennies come from heaven.

That's what my Grandpa told me.

He said Angels toss them down.

Oh, how I loved that story.

He said when an Angel misses you,

They toss a penny down,

Sometimes just to cheer you up,

To make a smile out of your frown.

So don't pass by that penny

When you're feeling blue;

It may be a Penny from Heaven

That an Angel's tossed to you.

Pass this on to the people who you care

about and who you feel that are angels to you.

An angel is now watching over you

I told my Aunt last night to hug and kiss my mom for me. Today, my cousin posted this on the internet. I read this right before I went to pick up the bitty one at school. While I was driving to pick her up, I dropped my phone. I got to the school and opened the van door to get it. There on the floor was an old penny. I just sat there sobbing like a baby because for the first time in a long time, I could feel my mom there comforting me.

Thank you Aunt Julie!


Karen said...

I'm so very sorry. Isn't it wonderful how God places such special people in our lives? They help set a standard for us that we are not born with. These special people show the world and reassure us that there is "good". I think God is telling you that you are the one... your aunt will be so proud and I am sure she will be watching.
Ladybug Creek

Theresa said...

Maggie, I think it's beautiful that you were able to say goodbye. My Busia is almost ready for her dance with my grandpa...she's 85, tired, and stubborn. I said goodbye in October. I'm sitting here, now, waiting for the call. It's most important to be able to say goodbye, to let the ones you love know that they ARE loved, treasured, your favorite. That's what I told my Busia, that she was my favorite. I'm very happy you were given the gift of your Aunt, and that you were also given the time to treasure her.

Jacqueline said...

Oh Maggie,
I am so sorry that you have lost such a wonderful and special member of your family. Although it is the most sad time, over the years I have learned that we must think ourselves so lucky that these lovely people were part of our lives and have given us so many memories.Memories live on and can't be taken away.
Your Aunt Julie sounded like a fantastic woman who loved all of her family unconditionally and, although you will miss her everyday, you will have so much to remember.
You have written this post so beautifully and from the heart. You moved me to tears.
Lots of love to you Maggie and I am thinking of you and all of your Aunt Julie's family. XXXX

Dar said...

Your Aunt Julie had the most wonderful and rewarding job in the world, that of being a Mom, Grandma, wife, friend, to everyone who entered her life. It's a tough job sometimes but her love most definitely gave her the greatest rewards. It's hard to say goodbye, but remember the gift of love went both ways. Nothing is more heartwarming. Your love is so apparent. God is truly great, as He gives us such bittersweet memories. Your Goodbye, made me cry. That's a good release.

cindy @ cottage instincts said...

Oh sorry to read this. I hate cancer, I really do. You've written such a beautiful testimony to your Aunt Julie, though. She sounds like she was one of the great ones who leave us too soon.

I hope happy memories will begin to ease the grief of saying goodbye. ((hugs)))

Proper Prim said...

Maggie, I am so sorry for your loss. Such a beautiful woman inside and out. I am sure she will be well remembered in all your hearts for ever.

What a lovely tribute to her, I am sure she would be proud.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time.

Big Hugs sweetie...

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

I'm so sorry Maggie. I'm sitting here crying, what a nice tribute to your very special aunt. My thoughts are with you.

Theresa said...

I am so sorry Maggie. This was such a beautiful post, she sounds like an amazing woman. I am sending an enormous hug and prayers your way. Theresa xoxo

Lori said...

This post made me cry... it is beautiful Maggie and to have the opportunity to say goodbye ~ well that is something that you will always have. The poem about the penny and your story about finding one today is perfect ~ not that death is perfect but I truly believe that those that have left us watch over us. Hugs to you my dear, dear friend. Wish I could come over and give you a big hug. xo

Pam said...

((((HUGS)))) So sorry to hear of your loss. She sounded like a remarkable woman. You and your family will be in my prayers.

Only Prettier said...

I am so very sorry for your loss.

PBKISSES said...

Oh my, my sister in law (sweet seasons) needs to read this post...I'll let her tell you why. I'm sorry about your aunt, I lost mine two years ago and it is very hard. blessings and prayers to you!

Dragonfly Treasure said...

aw Maggie, I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. Your Aunt was a very special lady and I know she and your Mom are watching over you right now and will be forever. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
I've lit a candle for her:


Tanya said...

Hi Maggie
My sis in law told me this story at church today and said I needed to read it. I'm so glad I did. I have similar circumstances. Quickly, my aunt (my mom's sister) passed away in June of a sudden heart attack. My dad passed away in July of a sudden heart attack. He had just given my 16 year old a metal bank box he made and wanted to them to collect dimes in it. They would see how many it took to fill it. At the funeral, she had written that story and it was shared out loud. When a good friend was leaving the funeral outside on the steps was a dime. We just knew it was from Dad saying everything will be okay. Then when I was repotting the tons of plants we received at the funeral, I was sitting cross legged on the ground outside amid the dirt, pots, water, plants and when I got up there was a dime under me. I cried like a baby. I knew my Dad was there with me.
I felt your heart story as well and understand. I know your Momma sent the penny saying, "everything is okay...I miss you and I love you".
God bless you and I'm so glad my sis in law shared this with me.

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

I'm very sorry for your loss, not only was your aunt a beautiful woman on the outside, but from your description she was beautiful on the inside as well.

Keep your family in my thoughts and prayers.


Ellen said...

Oh I am so sorry for your loss, my heart just aches for you all. She sounds like she was quiet the woman to admire. You did a beautiful posting to her tribute and memory. My heart and prayers are with you.


Anonymous said...

Maggie -

I am sitting here crying as I type, my own grief still so fresh and raw. Your aunt sounds like one terrific lady. I am so sorry that she and your mom were called home so soon. Remember, there are no goodbyes for those that believe. You will see them again. Until then, they are in good company.

Your Friend,

Kathleen said...

That was just beautiful! What an inspiration. A wonderful tribute to your dear Aunt!

Julie Johnson said...

Catching up on blogs, and sitting here crying at this post. Beautiful tribute to what sounds like a wonderful woman. I love that her only occupation was to be a mom and grandma. I wish I could let my heart settle on realizing that is enough. I love that she stepped in and was such a dear to you during your own losses. Having lost two moms, I've gained two amazing women these last few years that I can go to with anything...what a gift and a treasure. I'm thinking of you and praying that you will be blessed with another dear soul to fill this big hole in your heart.
hugs to you Maggie,

Sixty-Fifth Avenue said...

Maggie, how wonderful that you got to say goodbye. I love the story about the pennys, that brought me to tears.