Hanlon family reunion 1993. Thanks Colleen
I mentioned that something desperately sad happened last Thursday. My Aunt Kathy, firstborn of my Dad and his 11 siblings, passed away suddenly at 61. Really. I still can't believe it. I don't know if I can't believe it because being in another country makes me feel so removed but I really, just, can't. I am sharing this with you because her funeral is being held today.
Since I was little I always felt especially connected to her. Maybe she took a special interest in her nephews and nieces because she didn't have any children of her own. Or maybe she did because that's just the type of person she was. My siblings and I were the "resident" grandkids of the Hanlon clan; living kitty-corner to Grandma had so many perks. We were able to see every visitor of Grandma and Grandpa growing up. I never took that for granted and I loved that my childhood happened right there. You never knew who might be just across the backyard whenever you popped in for a minute. Knowing everyone is there right now and for the reason that they are, I am feeling nostalgic and lonely and just sad, sad, sad. Because everyone is not there. Kathy is not there.
I'll always remember talking about shoes together
I'll always remember my first wedding dress fitting with her there
I'll always remember her eye-closed laugh whenever I said something ridiculous and/or snarky
I'll always remember her
I know that I have hope as a believer that I will see Kathy again and that she is not suffering one tiny bit right now and that she and Grandpa are having a wonderful reunion right now. Even though I know that, I am too sad to feel hopeful just this moment. I'm going to stop typing now, so I will leave you with what another aunt of mine shared with everyone this week, a farewell of sorts from Kathy's college and beyond best-friend:
Neither will I. I love you Kathy.
Thank you for letting me say my goodbye on the day my family is gathered to do the same, it makes me feel a tiny bit connected to share this with the world.
Come back tomorrow, I promise to share happiness and hope once again.