Saturday, March 7, 2009

A Very Hard Post

I've been thinking about this post...for about two weeks...ever since I heard my Aunt Sue had a pretty severe stroke. It seems that in the few days since I learned she was not going to survive this that the memories of her have flooded my mind. Death is never easy to but this one was tough. It came so suddenly.

Aunt Sue & Uncle Bill are perhaps the most kid-friendly people I have ever know. When I was a kid, they would travel to see us in NY and I can't even express the excitement we would feel when they'd get there. The time spent with them was so special. We (kids) got to be included in the special dinner at their favorite steak house in Queen's Center. They made us kids feel so valued!

Aunt Sue was unique. She was so crafty and a had a dramatic flair about her. I think those are the things I like the most about her. When I was in 6th grade and got my ears pierced, she was so excited for me that she gave me some of her earrings. Through the years they got lost but I had kept one up until not long ago.

Bill & Sue adopted their first child, Nathan and I had to be about 10 or 11. I don't know why I was there by myself but they let me carry that baby (who couldn't have been more than 3 months) all over the place. I remember Uncle Bill had bought a big station wagon and on the Wednesday night I was there with them, we three and Nathan went to church. Now, this was in the day before baby seats were mandatory so we all sat in the front seat. I sat between Bill & Sue I held the baby all the way to church!!

When I was 14, I spent an entire summer in Ohio with my grandparents. I spent several weeks of that summer over at Bill & Sue's house. By now, they had two kids. A baby girl, Gretchen who was about 1. Sue let me dress that little girl up in all her little dresses and carry her all around. Sue made foods I'd never heard of like quiche! I was so impressed that I asked her for the recipe (which I still have!) She also taught me to cross-stitch and bought me a sampler to work on which I also still have. She also felt I need a wrap skirt and made me one. I had such a blast!

We went back to Ohio another year or so later and their 2nd daughter, Anna was just recently born. I, once again, spent a day with Sue, running errands. She let me carry that tiny baby all over the place that entire day!

Fast-forward 10 or 11 years and I am now married and have my own children. Josh, who Bill & Sue's girls now played with the way I played with them. Amy was just a newborn and Sue was so taken with her that she decided to have another baby. Shortly thereafter, Emily was born and not too long after that, Abby joined their family. Several years ago at a family function, we discovered that Bill & Sue had another daughter, Nancy, whom they adopted into their family.

There are people who come in and out of our lives through the years who impact our lives in one way or another. As an adult, I wasn't able to spend the time I spent with Bill & Sue like I did when I was a kid. But the memories remain and the impact stays. I love them every bit today as I did back then.

It is with deep sadness that I write these words today. Sadness over the loss of Sue's presence on the earth. I feel it even though I am 500 miles away right now. I miss her and my heart aches that she's gone. My heart also aches for Bill, Nathan, Gretchen, Anna, Abby, Nancy, and Janet, Cede, Josh, and Bob.

Our heartache is tempered with hope. Hope that we will see Sue again someday. And frankly, I have a feeling it won't be too long. While we live without her now on this earth, we rejoice that she is in the presence of her Savior.

Lately this song, "I will Rise", has been on the radio. It was playing today as I headed to my computer.


Anonymous said...

thank you Rebecca for a beautiful post about a wonderful mother, wife, grandmother, aunt, friend, and everything else she was to all of us. What a gift of hope that we WILL see her again. What a unbelievably sad time for us on earth, but there is rejoicing in heaven. !

Love, Anna

Gretchen said...

Thank you for this beautiful post, Rebecca. My mom and dad ARE the biggest kid people to this day! Thanks for telling some of your memories that come from before I was able to remember.

Love, Gretchen

The Horns said...

I'm so sorry for your loss and so grateful that you have such wonderful memories. You know you will see her again some day.