The memory from last year that makes me smile the most is actually from a time when many people would think crying and being depressed would be more appropriate.
Last January I (Sis One) was with my Bro Two, Bro Three, Sis Four and our Mom in Arizona at the home of Bro Two. His beloved Wife had passed. Hers had been a long, trying and tiring battle with cancer, yet she always expressed her love and appreciation to us all.
We were in their kitchen. The TV was on mute with sports, Pandora radio was playing great music, someone was cooking, someone was doing dishes, and we were laughing and recalling stories from our child and adult hoods. We told stories about our loved ones who had passed on. Wife of Bro Two and Wife of Bro Three who passed two years earlier, also from cancer. Our elderly Dad, Bro Two’s first Wife and Sis Five.
Our stories were about their goofiness, the joy they had brought to us and the memories that still made us laugh decades later. Mom, who didn’t have her hearing aids in, was sitting and smiling. Though she didn’t hear the words she—and we—felt the love. A love that spanned births and deaths, suffering and joy, youth and old age.
As I watched myself participate I remember wishing that we could go on like this forever. I felt so safe, so loved, so validated, so needed and so appreciated by people who I totally adored and respected.
That is how I want my life, at its end, to be celebrated. And even more, that is how I want to live this life now. So, dear soul sisters, if you see me sad or mad or pissed off, please do me a favor. Simply whisper “Your family loves you” to me and I will be able to put myself back in that kitchen and my heavy heart will be filled with light.