Sometimes loss is so great that we can barely speak it. The people we lose leave holes in life that cannot be filled, just honored.
The last few weeks have been a meringue of change, sorrow, joy and -- it wouldn't be the same without it--mayhem. In the midst of it all, like a stop at an oasis, we attended the beautiful wedding of Aunt Nora's fresh-faced grandson and his sweet and graceful wife. Their ceremony and celebration reminded us all of the aspects of life that matter most: love, friendship, family, hope.
Within the one week prior to the wedding, Aunt Nora lost her daughter, Mary, to an aggressive illness.
Aunt Nora's anchor was the hope that between Mary's determination and her own prayers, that she would defy the prognosis. Her love was so great that she felt unequipped for any other outcome. But life took a different turn.
Dad always got a kick out of Mary, whose beautiful face concealed a woman of moxie. The story Dad told for as long as I can remember was about her engagement that took place over thirty years ago.
She and her fiance had arranged every minutia detail of their wedding. They even had their apartment. But when the groom-to-be lost his job, he decided it was easier for Mary to just work.
There was a conversation about their goals, and Mary canceled the wedding.
Aunt Nora said that when Mary became ill, she chose to stay in Arizona, even though her family wanted to take care of her in New York. She loved her home, her job and her friends. They were her family away from family. She chose to be better positioned to return to her job after her recovery. Demonstrating the brave quality of the woman Dad described, Mary planned for life.
Aunt Nora has experienced a tremendous bit of sorrow in her life, but if one were to ponder that too long, he or she would miss the message of her life and who she is, which is always about love. At the wedding, her face lit when I admired her grandchildren. It doesn't take too long to see that her courage to get up and live her life to the fullest is always about her family.
That's Aunt Nora, a woman I am deeply grateful to know.