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The joy my aunt brought to me is the reason for the great pain I suffer now. She came into my life and helped me love my kids. She wrote me many letters, in the old fashion way, and when I read them now I see the richness of my life because of her. She came to my home. She saw my children and she marveled with me at the thrill of their development. She helped me in this way know them and know the joys of my life. She saw Nellie playing Marbleworks while Andrew and Uncle Howie jammed on drums and piano together, then sought out Emmett and had him play piano for her and have him explain what he was doing so she could understand. She and my husband landscaped our yard together. She helped me decorate my home. She cooked with me and ate with me and lived with me in my life like few have. She participated. She shared. She encouraged. She showed me how to appreciate my life.

It is because I allow the sorrow that I can see the joy in my life. It is because of this loss that I can better embrace today and love my kids and my husband and my great good fortunes, and appreciate them all the more because they are what I, for sure, have today.

I’ve learned through sorrow that when joy is around we must embrace it, and take it, and love it, and don’t waste the chance to feel it.