I don't really know where to begin, not because I'm not doing okay (I'm in a good place), but because so much has happened over the past five days. And when you watch someone else's grieving process it touches you. I feel impacted today. I'll give you the brief version (well, I'm not sure I'm capable of making anything brief).
I left my house Friday morning at 3:30am (ouch!) in order to be at the airport in time for my 6am flight. And at 3:30 am (5:30am Central), Uncle Norman passed away. Once I arrived in San Jose my Aunt Angel and I drove directly to Chico, CA to be with the family. My Aunt has had an extremely hard season and I was so grateful to be with her during this time. Growing up we spent a lot of time together, so it feels like no time passes in between visits. Once she and I arrived in Chico, my great Aunt LaDonna and Angel hugged and hugged and cried deeply. We spent the next three days just being together, all of us. Here's a picture of everyone together:
One thing that impacted me in a profound way was how much Aunt LaDonna loved Uncle Norman. And after 55 years of marriage she lost her soul mate, all in a weeks time. She shared stories and memories and processed the last month of his life (little things they did together) and listening to her was such a gift for me in my new marriage. One thing she said that sobered everything inside of me was this,
"I'd live in a tent with him if he was still here."
Do you know how many times that has echoed in my mind. And not in a haunting sort of way, but in a way that brought me relief.
You see, Stephen and I have been "considering" buying our first home this year and "I" have been in a lot of fear. Not fear about buying, but fear about not buying. My fear-driven train of thought has gone something like this, "Will we ever grow up and settle somewhere? Will we ever have even a 5 year plan? Will we ever own anything? Will I ever get to decorate something in a permanent sense? Will I be 35 before we have our first child? Do people think we're incapable of being adults?"....and on and on and on. But what these last few days have brought to me was a renewed sense of trust. Trust in God, that he is guiding both me and Stephen, and that he has a future and a hope for our family. And trust in Stephen, that he has a lot of wisdom and that he loves me and wants what's best for our family. I can rest in those two things and wether we live in an apartment next or wether we buy a house doesn't matter. What matters is that we have each other, we're in love, and we're a team. Come what may, we're gonna make it together.
I also had a ton of fun spending a few hours garage sale-ing and rummaging through a thrift store with my mom and my aunt. It was cute, my mom picked out (and bought me!) so many fun things. Maybe I'll post pics of my favorite finds later this week. It's crazy how to see how similar mine and my mother's taste has become (however, I bought several things that made her "gag", like a loud cherry/white/navy pair of vintage pumps. Oh and I was reminded where my "drama queen" persona originated from...ahem...mother). Here's a few pics from my trip (btw, my mom thinks she looks awful in this pic, so I must give the disclaimer that she had just woken up. And I must add that I bought her the earrings she's wearing at a garage sale for $1.):
Me and Aunt LaDonna:
One of the last pictures of Uncle Norman: