Last week, I wrote about the "cheerleaders" in my life, all of you who have blessed me with your prayers and encouraging words these last few months. Also last week, I was reminded of one of the cheerleaders who is missing from my life, my Aunt Joan, who died two years ago. Something I read for one of my classes reminded me of her, and I found myself experiencing an intense sadness that she is now absent from my life.
Aunt Joan was a pretty special person to me. She was younger than my parents and married later than they did, so when I was a kid, she was always spoiling me and her other nieces and nephews. Among my relatives, it was she who had attended the same far-away college I did, and sent me fun care packages. She would have had some great stories to tell about me in the "most embarassing moments" category. "Fun" should have been her middle name. She loved life. Hers came to an end far too young, only 49, of dreaded breast cancer.
But last week, as I was reminded of her and thinking about all the great people in my life who've encouraged me this year, I knew without a doubt that she would have been among the most loyal and enthusiastic members of my cheering section. She probably would have had some really sarcastic comments about the stupid outfit, but she would have forgotten that when it came time to stand up and cheer.
I know, in some ways, she will never be absent from my life because of all the great memories I have of her. Just knowing that she would have cheered me on, whatever I do, is a great memory of who she was. But it sure would be nice to meet her for a latte and long talk. I would tell her how much I appreciate the love and encouragement she gave me, and thank her with a big hug.
Thanks, Auntie Joan. I miss you.