I’ve been a little quiet this week.
Our family was rocked this past weekend by the news that our "Sweet Aunt Geri" was killed in an automobile accident.
It’s one of those things that hits like a blow from the back.
The kind you don’t see coming.
I’m not very comfortable with public speaking.
I know I won’t be able to speak when we all gather to say our farewells.
But I would like to say a few things here …in “my space”.
I come from a large and tight knit family.
My Mom is one of fourteen siblings.
Her mother, my Oma, made sure that we all shared holidays and celebrations whenever possible.
I have met all of my 60 some odd cousins and know most of them … and even some of their children.
There have been Christmas parties, family pinics, epic weddings and anniversary parties.
But Aunt Geri….she was special.
She took me on my first road trip when I was about four or five.
She bought me some colored pencils and a pad of paper.
She hid them in her glovebox as a surprise for whenever I drove her crazy.
We hit the road.
I was sure I was the coolest kid ever.
I have no idea what she could have been thinking.
She christened me Chatty Cathy on that trip….and it stuck.
She trusted me to babysit her children who became more like younger brothers and sisters to me.
She was my Confirmation sponsor.
She was my Wedding Coordinator.
We talked about simple and frugal living.
And later, when Uncle Jim battled cancer, we talked a lot about healthy living and what that meant.
And if I look really hard for the gift in this thing…
I find that I am thankful for the gifts she gave….endlessly.
She showed me how to live in faith with great joy and gratitude.
She showed by example how to put God first, and family before all others.
And this week…
She reminded me to count… not only the years, months, or even the days….but each heartbeat of the ones we love most.
I am so blessed to have had her in my life.
I’ll miss you Aunt Ger.