Today my family and I are remembering a great woman that impacted our lives tremendously. It has been two years since she has passed, but not a day goes by that little things remind me of her presence. It is hard to put into words what it’s like to have a person in your life one moment and then a giant hole in your life when they have passed on from this world. You continuously bring them up in conversation or catch yourself from stopping by their house for lunch or dinner. Sometimes you even call their phone number just to see if they would pick up the line again.
In this single photo of our family, there are three individuals that have moved on to meet one another again in the next life. Unfortunately for our family, there are even more people that have been touched by cancer and other means. So, I often sit here and reflect on what I can do or what can we do to honor them and their memory. The only logical explanation I can muster is to simply live life.
I know I personally felt the ramifications of losing a parent at the young age of 17, my father, and that singular loss affected years of my life – there are still aspects of his absence that holds onto me today. At times I feel paralyzed by the grief of losing so many people in my life, and I recognize that I will never be completely whole as an individual. Other times I feel guilty for not doing more with the gifts I have been given and recognizing the simple fact that I am still breathing. Life is an opportunity to be exceptional, to be unique, and to leave a lasting mark on those we meet – possibly even those we do not meet.
As I sit reflecting on the loss of my grandmother, Barb Lutey, on this day two years after her losing fight to cancer – I remember her smile and her outlook on life. There were times when she gave me comfort and wisdom with her spirit and her forgiveness. She simply loved her family, loved to dance, loved to squeeze every ounce of daylight from a long summer day, and she made sure to travel as many times as she was able. She was a perfect example of what it meant to enjoy the time we have and to forgive the people that make mistakes. There aren’t enough minutes in our lives to weigh it down with sadness, depression, spite, jealousy, or any number of irrelevant obstacles we put in our own way to make us forget about our own happiness.
If there are a few things that Grandma Barb would have wanted for myself and our family it would be to live life abundantly, then when it is your time to leave you will not have any regrets, and more than likely you will know the warmth of love and friendship.