This is going to be a different sort of post, and I hope that you will sit with me as I reminisce for a while.
Right now, I am at Christ Advocate Hospital in the Medical Intensive Cardiac Care Unit with my Godmother. She has seen the better part of a century here on earth, and now while her mind is alert, her body if failing her. I am feeling blessed that we had some time alone to talk about family and life.
Now that she is tired, I wanted to let her rest, but want also to spend some
time just sitting with her as I think about all of those missed (or avoided) opportunities to connect with family. Especially, those with whom the only times we connect are weddings, funerals, or very special occasions.
For me, my “Auntie Phyllis” is my last real connection to my mother’s parents. My grandmother passed away when I was about 9, and after spending many summers with my grandfather “Cappy”, he passed when I was in my 20’s. Here, I find myself 20 something years later remembering those summers and times when I was my children’s ages when I look at her face. I can’t stop myself from wondering where all that time went and why don’t I have more memories of family later in my life.
I remember my grandfather walking us to this old five and dime on the north-side of Chicago and getting my sister and I a small bit of candy. Then we’d walk to the park where he’d teach me the finer art of wiffle ball Cubs-style. I remember pretending to be asleep on the living room floor moving my feet to the giggles of my grandmother who insisted I was “dancing” in my sleep to the Perry Como albums she would play. Or beaming with pride as I stretched out to show her how tall I had gotten.
Then I remember, Thanksgivings, Christmas’ and birthdays. where Auntie Phyllis would always make me feel special with an extra gift because I was her godson.
If I can encourage anyone. Don’t wait. As my Godmother told me today, “family is the reason we are here on earth.”
We love you Auntie Phyllis, you are in our prayers. We hope you get better soon, Noah’s birthday is in 23 days. I’d like you to be there.