Dear Kathy, in death you gave me life goals…
Today is the one year anniversary of Kathy Grey. I knew her mostly as my dear neighbor-friend Jeanine’s mom. I would get to meet her occasionally during her visits and she was always so warm to me! But I mostly knew her from the stories Jeanine would often share with me.
Kathy, last year I stood in line for the viewing and took in all the pictures on the life celebration boards. From the baby pictures, to the glowing bride, to this particular one where you and Zeke were sitting in ‘one’ beach chair, hugging each other closely. I had heard stories of how close you and Zeke were and I get choked up thinking about how he had whispered in your ear at the hospital and said, “it is time to let go”…
So many pictures and so many stories. As the line moved forward your family members greeted us with so much heart. My thoughts kept wandering to my own self.
“Am I present enough to my own life and connected enough to my near and dear ones? Will the people I leave behind someday have so many beautiful stories with me and of me?”
Later in the ceremony your daughters retold stories from your life. That time you laughed so hard that you… lol. About how you danced with a crowd of youngsters at a beachside restaurant. You were always such a fun and free spirit, Kathy! Jeanine and Betsy laughed and cried, and then I heard one of them say with unwavering conviction:
We were loved.
Kathy, I want that for my kids; for them to be able to look back at their own lives with me and to know that they were deeply loved by their mother, no ifs and buts about it.
I am a little more present to them every day. I hold eye contact a little longer, I make it a point to express how much I enjoy them, their words, and their presence. Even as I am writing this note I have them next to me and after our morning hugs and cuddles we have settled into our quiet time, together.
Jeanine and Betsy continued on with stories of how you loved on the people in your life and shared your motto of “Love Big”. Talk about life goals; I wish I could tell you how these two words stayed with me long after that day. It is a way of life, a philosophy that impacts every single relationship around me now.
Jeanine tells me of how much you loved me and adored me. That’s just the kind of person you were! You loved big! Thank you, Kathy.
Zeke, Jeanine, and Betsy – I can’t imagine how hard this day is for you and your entire family. You are all in my thoughts. I’m going to love it forward today and I hope it makes Kathy smile.
My regards, and much love to you and yours, Kathy…