In Advent I always think how I should "pause" and reflect more, just take that time. I'm doing that - it's for a somewhat different reason.
She went out on top - my aunt. She loved life and was busy all the time, loving everything she did, always thinking of others. She'd always tell me she loved my Christmas letter, and couldn't wait to get it each year. But what wasn't supposed to happen did happen, and although her parents made it to 97 and 99, she ended her baptismal journey suddenly, without any warning, at 73. I wish I wasn't so late with the Christmas letter this year.
I struggle with not understanding this at all - why so suddenly? I don't get it? Why at the top of her game? Perhaps that is best in this case - we can cherish the memories, too many to name, but here are a few...
* Lori as a baby, and my aunt singing "how much is that doggy in the window?" to rock her to sleep. I'll never forget that.
*The gift of tickets to Lorie Line in Minnesota for my birthday - and now I continue going to Lorie Line concerts. My last email to her was the picture of my Lori sitting next to Lorie Line onstage.
* Minnesota - when I lived there she was 2 hours away, but she checked on little Beth, just out of college. "Bethieeeeeeeeeee, this is your Auntie Dot." OK, really, she could have stopped at Bethieeeeee. No one else said my name the same way and never will.
* Fall leaf trips in Minnesota. She would pick me up when I lived there and we would spend the day looking at the beautiful changing colors on the Mississippi. And she would say "Ohhhhhhhhhhhh...." with the Minnesotan accent to the max, so you may only understand "Ohhhhhhh..." if you've heard the accent.
* "Beth, I was on that medicine and you are like me. You need to stop taking it." She was right. We were similar.
* "Beth, you should become a member of this church. You keep coming back here." Right again.
* Random articles in the mail that she would send for me on MS.
* Memories with cousins and my mom, her sister. Get the sisters from Minnesota together with "Ohhhhhhhh..." and it can be quite comical.
So, memories. There are sad times. There are tears. This was unexpected. And so, during Advent, I pause with sadness but also memories.