Growing up I was lucky enough to have a Mom, an Aunt Marie and an Uncle Steve. Three parents instead of one or two, which was difficult to explain to the other kids at school and incredibly lucky for me. Through all of the ups and downs of the last 35 years they have always been there for me, constants in an ever changing life. This past Monday, December 15, 2008, Aunt Marie passed away. It was sudden and very quick, which would have made her happy and she got to spend time with Whitney Amaya before it happened, which is a comfort to us all. She was incredibly excited about her new grand daughter, bubbling over with joy and excitement. She will be greatly missed although per her instructions we will do our best not to mourn and instead celebrate the life she had and the person she was.
Auntie was adopted as a child and because of this she understood better than most that family is as much a choice as it is an inheritance. She had love and good will enough for everyone and was gifted at listening to people and finding ways to give them what they needed. It was amazing to see the number of people from her past who came to the wake last evening and hear their stories about how she touched their lives with her willingness to share a smile or a helping hand. Aunt Marie was the kind of woman who willingly went without in order to share with someone else and she firmly believed that happiness and laughter were meant to be shared at every opportunity.
She was an easy woman to love and a very difficult one to say goodbye to. We will remember her always and she will live on in hearts. Whitney Amaya may not remember knowing her Aunt Marie, she will always know that she was loved by her, as were we all. Marie's stories will live on for as long as we do.
A beautiful woman passes away.
Our lives are framed with tears: tears of joy, tears of sorrow, tears of pain, tears of pleasure.
I felt afraid when you died. I felt angry your life was too short. I felt sad and a hollow void appeared. The void was large, larger than life, a giant cavern of emptiness. I started to think of you: your smile, your laugh, and your ability to light up a room.
I felt joy when I began to let your beautiful memories flow through me. The space in our hearts for you is large. It needs to be this big to hold all the memories you helped create.
You changed our lives with love.
Thank you Marie, these words only scratch the surface of your radiance, your strength, your love, your passion, your joy, and your happiness, which you gave to us openly. We can only hope to live up to the example you have set and with your memories, your teachings and lessons we have a fighting chance.
This is not good-bye it is the awkward introduction to a new place, which your love has decorated for us and turned on the lights so we feel welcome and at ease.
We love you and miss you.