And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. ~Revelation 21:4
I have going to see my aunt on my to-do list. It’s been much too long since I have sat down to talk to her without having to rush. I have lots of updates for her about the family that she would want to know, a few good stories, jokes that aren’t funny but I’m sure would make her laugh, and plenty of memories to fill a summer afternoon. The wind usually picks up when I’m there. As I feel it brush across my face, I will wonder if she sees me, if she hears me, and if she knows that she is missed every single day.
Aunts are special, we all know that, and they have an incredible impact on our lives from the time we are children. My aunt gave me many things, but most importantly an example of unwavering faith, immense pride in family, confidence in myself, and a strong love that could not be broken by death.
My visit won’t be in her living room or mine, but instead at her tombstone. The heavy sadness is only managed by a mix of denial and busyness. There are still days when I’m angry at God and ask why did it have to be her, why did it have to be pancreatic cancer, and why couldn’t we have had more time. But, God knows as well as I do that there is no time that would have been enough. One more day, a week, a month, a year, none of it would do. I wanted my aunt for a lifetime. She was that special, with a larger than life personality, and I know that I selfishly loved her. I wanted to keep her grounded with us, and watching her leave was just too hard.
I can still hear her calling my name, I can remember her voice like she’s still here, and some days I think she will walk in at any minute and sit down on the couch and hold my girls again. I think that she will walk in at Christmas with bags filled with bargain shopped gifts, but she won’t, and I will miss her as long as I live. While I was wrestling with God, she was ready to meet Him. She told us it was time to stop praying for healing and to start praying for mercy. I’ll never forget it. She said she was ready to see Jesus. She had a sign in her house that I liked so much I went out and bought one for myself. It sits on the bookshelf in my living room so every time I see it I am reminded of her, reminded to enjoy life even when I’m sad, and reminded that God is still God even though I didn’t get the answer to my prayers that I so desperately wanted.
“I believe in the Sun
even when it is not shining,
in Love even when I am alone,
and in God even when He is silent.”
~Inscription found scratched into a wall in Germany
by someone hiding from Nazi Concentration Camps