Dreams really do come true. Keep dreaming!
Remember me? I know I’ve been away from blogging for a while and although I’ve been jotting down my thoughts, I’ve also been struggling with the words. Not only what to say, but also having the time and the energy to say or share them. About a week ago, I caught some type of bug that has had me down for the count. I’m happy to report that I’m on the mend and feeling unbelievably better, thanks to some miracle drugs; one that is curing my infection and one that is helping me sleep without coughing.
But there is another reason for my word lapse. Earlier this month, there was a death in my family. One of my brother-in-laws died unexpectedly and I’m still having a hard time believing he is gone.
He had been a huge part of our family for more than 50 years, and many of my memories include him. Family was important to him, especially the family he shared with my sister, whom he loved and cherished in a way few people ever get to realize. Together they raised seven lovely daughters, who over the years added five amazing men to their numbers, and also nine grandchildren.
It was the first time in nine years that all my siblings were together. The last time had been for a funeral too. So we came together from across the miles, along with hundreds of extended family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers to celebrate my brother-in-law’s life. We also came to share our love and condolences, and to reminisce. We told many hilarious stories of his practical jokes and antics, his ability to drive people crazy, as well as his ability to fix just about anything. He was a one-of-kind character and I can’t imagine there ever being anyone like him. As you can imagine, the weekend was full of hugging, and laughter, and tears.
Although our family is rather large by anyone’s standards, when one person dies, it leaves a gaping hole that isn’t easily mended and one that cannot be replaced. I think that it is true in any size family.
When I was young and my mother died, I didn’t understand all the laughter and joy that I saw people experiencing at her funeral. I couldn’t understand how people seemed to be going on with their lives, seemingly oblivious to the pain and brokenness that my siblings and I were experiencing. But that is exactly what happens. The world keeps on spinning and people, especially those not directly impacted by the loss; go on with the business of living. Even those who are grieving need to go on. Even when it seems impossible and when the future looks so different than what had been imagined.
And although it isn’t often a topic people want to discuss, death is something we all share and something we’ll all experience firsthand someday. An unexpected death should remind us all that we truly do not know the day, or the hour when it will be our time to say good bye. Hopefully, we’ll get a chance to say goodbye. But that often is not the case, as it was with my brother-in-law. Death should also remind us not to hold back. Say the words. Whatever words you’ve been meaning to say. Say them. Speak your words of love and forgiveness and affection. Speak them often. Take the time. Make the call. Send the note. And know that you too are important in the fabric of your family. We all are.