This time last week I was on a plane headed for Maryland to attend the funeral of my Aunt Linda. I had turned in my thesis the night before, only to have it quickly returned with “Red” ink marks on every page. Hearing the news that my thesis needed work and the passing of my Aunt, made for a stressful week and the whirlwind hasn’t stopped since.
Although the passing of my Aunt Linda was unexpected and very sad, I like to think she brought us back together. It had been over 18 years since I had seen my cousins and many years since I had seen my Aunt Kathy, who is also my godmother.
I used to fly out to Maryland and spend a couple of weeks with her during my summer break. Her children, my cousins, were toddlers then and I was a rebellious teen. I always looked up to my Aunt Kathy and loved to spend time talking to her about my teenage problems. I loved that she played sports, could be feminine, but still hang with the best of them. She was hard on the outside, but soft on the inside. My godmother was and still is; a person that always seems to get me, even when I didn’t get myself.
This time visiting her was nice. I didn’t have a heavy load of problems. I just came to support my Aunt and cousins in there time of need. I babysat, hung out and got to become reacquainted with the cousins I had only known as children. Now all grown up with families and careers of their own, I appreciate them with a much more mature set of eyes.
While away, I got great news of my husband moving to first shift. After three long years of feeling as if I lost him, I finally get him back. Not many people get that and I feel so overwhelmed by the blessings God has given our family.
At a time when so much loss has occurred, the passing of my aunt and the tragedy of the Boston Marathon, it’s hard not to be sad. But at the same time, I am extremely joyful. Someone said to me today, “It seems like things are finally starting to fall into place for you”. For once I actually feel like they are.
Our family (John, Johnny, Joey and I) has been through so much over the past three years. At times I honestly thought we wouldn’t make it. But God, family and friends were there each step of the way, supporting our fall. As a family we look fear in the eyes, we faced the challenges placed in front of us and we kept moving forward. Most importantly, through it all we loved each other, unconditionally.
I leave you with this today:
On the way home from basketball practice my son Joey told me he almost didn’t go. He knows he struggles with sports and when he tried out for the team this year he didn’t make it. He said today when he walked inside the gym and seen all the players, it was intimidating. He knew he had failed before and was scared to go back.
He said he went down to the locker rooms, took a minute by himself, and pulled together the courage to go back and practice with the team. One kid even yelled, “Go back to football”. He said he would tomorrow, but today he was playing basketball. A proud moment!
It makes me proud because my boys are learning the lesson of survival, of facing their fears, dreaming and never giving up. He took the first step forward in facing the challenge.