Aunt Joy had a very aggressive form of bladder cancer which had spread to other parts of her body.
Joy was reunited this morning with her parents, Frank and Rose and her son Jim who died in a plane accident on labor day in 2008.
When Laura went to college in Florida during her freshman year, it was a great comfort that we had relatives to look out for her.
That was the last time I saw Aunt Joy was on the road trip to Boca Raton.
After hurricane Wilma closed the Florida Atlantic campus in 2005, Laura and Nate had a safe place to go to.
I went out to dinner tonight and was reading a book, Life is a Verb by Patti Digh. Most of the time as I have been reading this book, I have felt very uplifted and tonight as I was reading, I had tears streaming down my face. I wonder what my waitress was thinking...
So tonight my heart aches again for the communal sense of sorrow that cancer brings to us.
Next week will mark the two year anniversary of Laiken's passing.
Four weeks ago today, marked the two year anniversary of Kelly's passing.
A long forgotten memory of Aunt Joy popped into my mind tonight.
We were spending the night at my Uncle's house and if I remember this correctly, my cousin Jim somehow accidentally popped a ballon that we were playing with.
And for some reason, I sobbed uncontrollably over that.
Aunt Joy just sat on the edge of the couch talking to me, soothing me. I remember she sat there patiently rubbing my back. I am sure she had no idea why this had set me off and as a Mother she knew what I needed.
She just sat with me and continued to rub my shoulders and back until I fell asleep. A simple act of love and compassion.
We never talked about it after that night.
40 plus years later, I am grateful for the love she showed me that night.
"I will not die an unlived life....I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me...I choose to risk my significance". -Dawna Markova