Monday, September 12, 2011

Bittersweet times

This past week has been full of joy and sadness. Such is life, I suppose. My aunt passed away last week. Although it is truly tragic to think of my family without her, there are so many good memories. The funeral was today. We dressed April up and took her to say goodbye to the great-aunt she was only able to meet twice. I wish she would've been able to know her. My aunt babysat me when I was little and it was amazing to have her. She was such a character. Looking back, she was pretty strict but loving and funny and giving. Just a wonderful person.

She was in hospice before she died, so we were able to say goodbye - I am thankful for that. Her daughter found a poem that she had written to me but never given me. She gave it to me at the cookout we had on Saturday night (which was such a great time, I adore my family). I read it Sunday morning. By the date and the content, it seems like it was from when I graduated from high school. I wonder why she never gave it to me?

"To Jill with love from Jackie 6/20/97
I remember the day you were born
the image of your Dad.
A baby couldn't have been more loved.
A dream your parents had.
It's hard to believe you've come so far
Your childhood at an end:
Off you go...but not too far
It's just around the bend.
You worked so hard and it was so hard
Now you travel to a higher place
But you can go on with pride
And a smile upon your face
But in your heart there's a spot for me
I knew it was always mine
You'll always be a part of me
For in my eyes you shine"

I love you, Ma Tante Jackie!

Added to the emotional roller coaster of this week was the 10th anniversary of 9/11/01. It's amazing to think back on these 10 years. Rob and I watched some of the memorial coverage. My gosh, it was rough. It was especially heart-wrenching to see Rob break down as a teenager read the names of the fallen and, when she got to her dad, said "Butterfly kisses from your Peanut Girl." Sometimes things really take on a different light being a parent. (not to bust out the dreaded "You don't understand because you don't have kids..." that's not what I'm saying, I swear! But some things hit a little deeper now.)

On the joyous front, April is growing so fast and is so amazing. We started solid foods and it is the cutest thing ever. Man, that girl loves to eat! I was talking to family this weekend, and noted how different it can be for men and women. I am so thrilled to see her grow up, but there is the slimmest bit of pain seeing her start to need me less, knowing what's to come over her lifetime as far as pulling away from me. But Rob just seems plainly excited to look ahead at all the things she'll be able to do as she grows.

Having her has been an extra blessing during tough times. I am happy to see her bring joy to my family as we mourn our loss. Babies are true miracles.

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