Farewell Aunt Laurie

The following is reflections from my mom on her sister Laurie… much of it is exactly what I remember and value about her.

Hi everyone, just a note to let you know that my sister, Laurie, passed away on Tuesday afternoon after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Many of you have prayed for her and been with me through this whole process. Thank you. I would ask that you continue to pray for her children, Rhonda, Michelle and Arthur, and B.J. and Andrea. Kierra and Kaleb are her two grandchildren, 5years and 2 years. The funeral is Friday at 11 AM Gillespie Center in Portage.

The Gifts She Left

This afternoon, as I have pondered how to put into words the feelings that surround me, many things have come to mind. So many memories encompass ones journey through life and to death.

I am forever thankful for the weeks in the last couple of years that I have been able to spend with Laurie. Time together with family and times when it was just she and I chatting or sitting quietly. I have narrowed my tribute to her down to a few very special gifts, in random order, that she left me, and perhaps you as well.

Generosity-Andrews remembrance of Aunty Laurie was that she always gave him a couple of loonies to go and buy whatever he wanted at Red Apple. Oh the enjoyment she got from watching and helping them choose the most special thing they could find!! Memories of gifts she sent to India years ago, gifts she gave me for birthdays, the coffee and body wash she sent back for us in Dec., the times when we needed something and she just gave it not thinking of whether she could afford it. But most of all the generous way she gave of herself to us, especially in the last couple of years is a gift to me.

Perseverance and Positive Attitude–.The difficulties of life often seemed to be overwhelming but, from somewhere, she had a persevering spirit deep within her that seemed to manifest itself in a positive attitude which brought her through the trials of life. When she knew that death was coming she dug again for that persevering spirit and positive attitude which I believe kept her with us for much longer than we thought possible. Through pain and suffering, which I cannot imagine, she persevered with a positive attitude, and gave me a gift to remember.

Family love-In the Greek language there is a definition of love which we know as family love. Laurie exhibited this kind of love in a way that is a great example for all of us. Her children were the joy of her life and she gave and gave to them. Ringette, hockey, soccer and baseball are the sports I remember most, but I know she gave of her time, energy , money and everything she could to help them and be there for them in whatever they chose to do. She supported, protected and accepted them no matter what they did or how they responded to her. A gift in example for me and a gift to them for the rest of their lives.

The value of Humor-Laurie enjoyed a good time! She loved to laugh and often at herself. I noticed this especially since her illness. Whenever I would talk on the phone to her she would tell me something that would make me laugh, like a catheter experience as only she could tell it, or the time Jerry overstayed his bedtime because he was “on duty” to look after her till B.J. arrived. I can’t help but smile through the tears as I think about this gift to me.

Faith-I never would have thought that this would be a gift that she would leave with me. But it is-I believe that she always had faith. On one occasion she told me that she never could have made it through her life without her faith in God. I am so thankful for her openness to share with me her faith in God and her confidence of the life beyond. This is without a doubt the greatest gift she left me-for me to know without a doubt that she loved the same Lord I do — that she knew how special she was to Him and how loved she was by Him. This leaves me with a warm fuzzy feeling.

Yesterday in memory of her I baked an apple pie, not sure why that memory surfaced, but it was fun to remember her enjoying the pie making process. I put on the Don William and John Denver Cds and remembered different things about her all day long. She has left me with these gifts and more and I am grateful. Love and blessings to each. Ellen

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