reminder of gratitude

Written by sherry. Posted in blog

Published on March 06, 2013 with No Comments







Right when Life seems to be putzing along it sometimes goes sideways. Last month we received the tragic news that our Laura passed away suddenly. She was the beloved wife of my cousin, Ray Rowe, and wondermous mom to their two children, Alex, 22 and Rachel, 19. It was sudden, unexpected and a sure shock to all of us.

Dealing with Life on Life’s Terms is a lesson I have been continually trying to learn. When we have lost loved ones in the past, it has never been easy. But one thing that happens every single time is that little ‘jewels’ appear during the process, what I call times of joy and bliss that come out of nowhere.  During the week I was in Poway, CA,  I witnessed these ‘jewels’ as they came day after day. My self-appointed job was being the scullery maid (that’s what I call myself when I do all the grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning up and making sure everyone has what they need) which put me in the ideal place to listen and note all the many ‘jewels’ as they occurred.

Laura was one of nine (yes, 9!) children to her parents, Jackie and Bill. I was fortunate to meet seven of her siblings and her mom, one sister having passed away 10 years ago. The house was full of love, tears and a lot of laughter. It was obvious as soon as the first set of siblings started arriving that their parents had done an incredible job with their children. During my chopping and stirring, I witnessed what it means to put aside all skeletons and gargoyles every family has (if a family says they don’t, they’re lying!) and come together to support and heal together. It was exactly what my cousin, Ray, and his children needed. I know that he and his family have not seen most of these people very much over the years, with all living miles and miles apart. But that didn’t matter. The only thing that mattered is that we all loved Laura, we all wanted to honor her and we all are going to miss her. And we all wanted to surround Ray, Alex and Rachel with love. As much as that can happen, I believe it did here.

I have to also mention that my three guys and my two beautiful daughters-in-law came over to lend their own love and support and it was greatly appreciated and unexpected. My Danny and I say to each other all the time that we aren’t sure what we did to deserve them, but it must have been something pretty grand to have them in our lives.

Those of us who were there are now home, picking up our lives where they were left. I know this is when the true test will come for Ray and the kids trying to make a new normal that is at first tolerable and later easier. Hopefully. I can only send out the wish that some of the love and caring that was given to them helps them accomplish this in any way it can. I know from personal experience it takes much more than that to get through a mourning period but if what we did gave any ease at all, then we did good.

By the way, the picture of Laura was taken by her ravishing daughter, Rachel, during their visit to our house a few years ago on Easter. It was a terrific time and we will always remember all the fun and laughter we had.





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