I’m typing this from a motel room in Spearfish, SD, en route to the funeral of my sister, Barbara, in Missoula, MT. She passed away on Thursday, May 16, 10 p.m. My husband and I were packing the car for a trip to Spearfish for a family graduation and the wedding of a friend, when we received the news that she would not likely survive the week. Over the years, her health had deteriorated to the point where we knew it would be only a matter of time. The news allowed me to pack a few more clothes and today I’m ten hours closer to a new 20 hour destination. As usual, God’s timing was perfect.
As the youngest child of nine (eleven, if you count my siblings lost to miscarriage), I selfishly felt that I was given less than favorable odds of not having to watch my siblings leave earth — one-at-a-time. I’ve thought how much it will stink to be the last one standing — to struggle through life alone. Barbara is already the fourth (or sixth) to go. I feel happy for Barbara and strangely peaceful. After all, there are 101 Reasons to Celebrate. This world isn’t the last stop of the journey. It’s merely a training ground for the next adventure.
Lucky for the world, Barbara’s greatest accomplishments were the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren she left behind. They are a living testament to her compassion, humor, idiosyncrasies, curiosity, generosity, faith, hope, and love. In light of that, I realize she hasn’t really left any of us alone. The best of her remains — and will to the end of time. We just need to appreciate what/who we have.
I’d better expand that Reasons to Celebrate list.
Thanks, Sis! I love you! See you tomorrow, in the faces of your progeny.