Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saint. (Psalm 116:15)
Last night was the Greater Gardner Relay for Life. It was a special time for us as my wife walked for the first time as a survivor. It was also bittersweet because it was the first year that my late sister-in-law was not a member of one of the fund-raising teams. This was always an exciting time for her and important because so many of her siblings and other family member have died of various types of cancer. It brought to mind some of the many things we are missing since her death Christmas Eve. Here are just a few of them in no particular order:
She would host Super Bowl parties at our house (while we were away vacation).
She would call in the middle of the night to let me know that the Red Sox had just done something great.
She would call in the early morning of every birthday and sing Happy Birthday.
She loved making puzzles at our house–whether we were there or not.
She visited and became my mom’s best friend in the last years of her life.
She transferred those visits and friendship to my sister, who had lived with my mom for those last years.
She would go on vacations with us and various other family members ( her sister, nephew and family, my sister, etc.).
She took pictures for every holiday and family gathering–and sometimes just for the sake of taking a picture.
She would play Scrabble with her cousins and my wife (and Dominoes, too, with the cousins).
She would clip news and sports articles from the local paper for every friend, relative and neighbor for miles around.
We would join her in celebrating her 29th birthday year after year after year.
There were so many ways that she impacted our lives, and each day we remember another. And each time it hurts like an emotional wound that has reopened. And, these are just a handful of memories that I will always have of the woman who became my sister when I married her sister. There are many, many more.