When I started this blog I said I was going to be real. Everything isn't always wonderful... sometimes things just really really suck. This is real life, and there's something I've been going through lately and I feel compelled to share it.
Those of you who personally know me, know that we lost my aunt to cancer over a week ago. She had been fighting the battle for a very long time, and a few months ago she told us there was nothing else the doctors could do.
It still doesn't feel like she's gone, because she left such a lasting impression on my life. I often hear her voice in my head, laughing at something silly I did. Just like I do with my own mom, grandmother, and husband. I also do with her.
Her memorial service was very nice. It hit me like a ton of bricks as I walked into the sanctuary and saw the slideshow. I held on to my daughter tight, and proceeded to cry my eyes out. In that moment, I didn't care who was watching.
I've never been much of a public speaker... but something came over me this past week, and I knew that I had to speak at her memorial service. I didn't have anything written down when my uncle asked me if I wanted to speak, but with a few nudges from my sweet husband, I agreed to do it. He said I'd regret it if I didn't, and he was right. Traveling with a toddler isn't easy; the time I thought I'd get on the plane or in the condo to write my thoughts and memories down didn't happen.
An hour or so before the memorial service, we went to grab lunch with some of the family and my mom took the wild child for a little while. I sat in peace, for about ten minutes, and wrote. Later in the service, I got on stage and spoke.
It wasn't perfect. I stumbled a few words and ad libbed here and there. And there was so much more I wanted to say. So many more stories I wanted to share. But I felt this wave of joy come over me as I spoke about her --- as if she were there with me. There's no other way to explain it than that. I'm proud of myself. I'm proud that I overcame a fear of mine in a way I would have never imagined. All I wanted to do was make Patti proud. I think she would have been proud of me for speaking during such a difficult time for all of us.
Her one big request was that everyone would eat cake, lots of cake! So we did that!