Here we are 3 years after my Aunt Laynie passed away. And gosh! It's crazy how life goes on after you lose someone. In those first few moments it feels like it can't possibly go on, but looking back now, so much has happened. We've celebrated Christmases, birthdays, all sorts of holidays, family gatherings, and special achievements without her. It's strange and still really hard sometimes, but the great memories pull us through.
Remembering her today has had me hunting down some of my favorite memories of her. I'm out of town, so I've been sifting through photos from FB and my blog just trying to feel her. Which led me to just what I needed to be able to "feel" her.
I have this weird thing that I do, where I always save the last card I'm given or that my boys are given until the next occasion or birthday. Then I throw them out and save the newest one. I do it because you never know when it may be the last card or note that person gives you. I guess it's just a superstition of mine. But I can't help it! There's just something about the messages that I like to go back and read. Even if it's just "Love, So-n-so". And then there's something about seeing the person's handwriting and signature that's so very special and personal. Knowing their hands have touched the card and their thoughts streamed out by the strokes of the pen is very sentimental to me.
A few months before her passing, my Aunt Laynie knew her health was failing. I think we all knew it would be the last birthday she'd celebrate with me. All I wanted was "just one more card" on my birthday. Because she wasn't able to get out and about, I was afraid I wouldn't have my "one more card". My mom, knowing me and all my weirdness and how important that was to me, went to pick one out and took it to her to sign. It was so simple but the sweetest gesture on both their parts. Now, every time I look at it, it feels like I'm celebrating with her right then and there all over again. I will always treasure the thought put into making that birthday card happen. And I'm so incredibly thankful that I have my quirky little card saving tradition because there are days that I just need to read her message one more time.
Missing you still, Laynie!