This isn’t what I wanted to write. Last week, when I was planning out what posts I was going to write on which days, I had a full lineup for this week that included my personal life and fitness goals plus some super-exciting stuff I can’t wait to share with you (like more about my ambassadorships with Fellow Flowers and Nuun Hydration!), the VIP experience offered at this year’s Indy Mini Marathon, a plank-a-day challenge I have grown to both love and hate and my beautiful new planner that is making my crazy-insane life a little less hectic ….
But on Thursday afternoon we found out that my husband’s great aunt had passed away. She’d been sick for about 5 years but her body started deteriorating much more quickly in the past several months.
Like running, writing is therapeutic for me. So here we are.
Just a little over a year ago, at Thanksgiving, she was noticeably weaker, but still very much herself. At first, I was only planning to attend the visitation (an hour away) on Monday afternoon because I was scheduled to work on Tuesday and we were already short-staffed this week for a number of reasons (from migraines to vacations). I very logically rationalized that it was much more important for my husband to be there; plus, I didn’t want to let any down at work, especially considering I was the newbie having just started in August. But for some reason on Monday afternoon I found myself walking into my boss’s office to see if there was anyone else who could cover for me the next day, even if just for a few hours, so that I could attend the funeral as well.
It still wasn’t immediately clear to me why I felt a sudden urgency to be there … until I walked into the funeral home. Because I already missed her.
We hadn’t seen Aunt Karen as much these past few years since she’d gotten sick, but prior to her diagnosis we spent every Christmas Day at her house and every Thanksgiving Day with this side of the family. She loved to gather at the holidays!
Aunt Karen never had grandchildren, but she spoiled my kids and their cousins as if they were her own. One year for Christmas she bought an entire band ensemble for the five of them – 2 guitars, harmonica, keyboard, even a drum set! When she wanted something, she would make it happen. When she saw a need, she filled it (whether for family member, friend or stranger). If there was a reason for celebration, she made sure every last detail was perfect. And though she had done some modeling when she was younger, her heart was even more beautiful than you could imagine. She was welcoming and calming. Generous and Gracious. A true Rock Star. I had decided last night I wanted to get a Flower to honor Aunt Karen – because she’s everything I want to be when I “grow up.” She took chances when others wouldn’t. She believed in herself. She was fearless. She loved unconditionally.
So when I asked her younger sister what her favorite color was, I suspected deep down that I already knew the answer. Black. “Funny, right?” Her sister responded…she thought black seemed like an unusual favorite color.
“Nope. Actually, it suits her perfectly.” Because, though I only know a handful off the top of my head, I know exactly which Flower that is: Rock Star.
“Sexy. strong, sassy. Rule-breaker and resilient spirit. Dances like she crosses the finish line – with her hands up! Why, yes, I am a force to be reckoned with.” ~Fellow FlowersI couldn’t sum you up in four short sentences any better than that if I tried!
We love you Aunt Karen … taking comfort in knowing we’ll all see you again in Heaven some day. I’m willing to bet you’ve already got your leg warmers on and your lipstick is perfect :)