In the last few weeks as I've been helping clean out my aunts home, I've come across lots of letters,photos,receipts and other odds and ends of life that leave a trail of "where she's been".My aunt had a regular hairdresser,bridge partners, and church friends. She was active in several community organizations and clubs. And somewhere in there she was Aunt Mary- my laughing,tiny fun ,aunt who spoiled me rotten as a kid! It never occurred to me that she would get old-or that she ever did-she just WAS....but as I look at the whole of her life ...and my part in it.... I have realized something.She had interests in things that were NOT me- or about me. For years I imagined she must be terribly lonely way up there without ME! Of course I wrote her letters and sent pictures and occassionally visited. I should have visited more often but the 6 hour drive was never easy to make.Anyway- I would suffer terrible guilt when I would miss a few weekends of calling or forget to send pictures of the newest grandbaby or other big event.She never shamed me or fussed at me for it- it was self-inflicted guilt.What a waste-I realized that her life MUST HAVE revolved around things that were not me- and here is the real kicker- she was happy!
For a moment or two I felt betrayed... how could she be happy if her family(= me) was not there?
How could she feel fulfilled and loved? No one loved her as much as I did...or did they?She left so many friends- and yes I do believe they loved her enough-they saw her every week and some every day-
They laughed,shopped,went to the dr and went out to eat.. went to church and reunions and auctions and fundraisers. They lived everyday without my direction or input-and they were perfectly happy!I thought about my own kids who are far away- they must do the same thing ...and more importantly I must too.
I realized that a person must make a choice to live happily with or without the presence of the ones they love nearby. There must be friends who are closer than kinfolk and it must be enough.
Our hearts must make room for some and let others go.
Otherwise we would nag, shame and ruin the little time we do spend together.Growing up and learning that life doesn't turn out like we planned just because we want it to, has not been easy. It seems the harder I try to keep my "chickens" close together- the more they spread out.SOOOO... it is with great bravery...:~ that I set my face toward the happy days and spend them with whomever God sees fit to allow me fellowship with and that will be enough.After I'm gone-when you go through my things -I hope you find little reminders of times we shared and things we did and I hope you find that I was happy! Lots and lots of HAPPY!