How do you sum up a life. 72 years and seven months. 217 summers. 26,452 sunrises and sunsets. 72 years a sister. 50 years a wife. 48 years a mother.
How do you capture a child’s hope and anguish. Or a sister’s longing for acceptance. The endless love of a wife. The unbreakable bond of a mother. The undying loyalty of a best friend. The constant compassion of a teacher. The selflessness of a neighbor. The passionate dedication of a gardener.
There are no words poignant enough nor vessel large enough to capture and contain a life well lived. A life that lifted those around her. A life that brought both flowers and children to bloom and grow. A life ridden and wrestled to the ground. A life of ups and downs that with each twist and turn chiseled new edges and softened rough corners, creating an immortal diamond.
You were my Mr. Rogers, my Lucille Ball, my Mary Tyler Moore and Rhoda rolled into one. My source of strength and sense of humor. My safe place. The first person to smile back at me. The first person to feed me. My life line from infancy to anxiety and beyond. I still see life through a lens of how to communicate my experiences to you. How beautiful you would have seen it. How much you would have appreciated it. How funny you would found it. The pride, the relief, the contentment, the humor.
Now left with the emptiness of watching you pass on alone. Without me there to comfort and protect you. While I am lost, I pray you are not.
A part of me says “I don’t know how to act or feel without you here.” But you raised me better than that, so I do know how to act. I will act as if every memory is a gift, every day I have breath is a blessing and every person I know or meet is an opportunity to love. And I know exactly how to feel. I feel devastated and torn apart. Yet I feel grateful beyond measure for every moment we shared, every part of me that reminds me of you, and every person here today and beyond who has supported me and my family through this difficult time.
You will be missed everyday and forever loved. God bless you and the space you occupied on this planet. It was sacred and lives on in the hearts of those you touched.