It's been a week since my Aunty Gina passed away.. My Aunt, who just turned 40 on 8/11, was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma in August 2008. It was a roller coaster, in and out of the hospital...good news, bad news, good news, bad news, and then, 3 weeks ago, it took a turn for the worst, but we never thought it was going to be the end... Our hearts: broken.
Aunty was the best Aunt any niece or nephew could ask for. Her laugh was contagious, her smile always beamed. She loved the beach, the sun, the moon, the stars and sunflowers. She loved to make pizza, and always made a good one. My sister and I definitely take after her love of kitties.
Dan and I were coming home from a mini-vacation we took to celebrate our 3 year anniversary. Tuesday, August 4th, my sister told me the doctors said there wasn't anything further they could do. Dan and I went to be by her side, brought her a chocolate shake (another of her favorites) and sat by her for a couple of hours. I never thought that would be the last time we'd have a real conversation. She asked us about wedding stuff and we always said she just had to get better, and walk again, so she could dance the night away in 2 years. She LOVED dancing. Day after day her condition worsened until Friday 8/14 when her breathing started to become labored...we all rushed to be by her side and we watched her last breath... One of the worst days of my life.
The relief in all of this is that she is resting now, eternally, and is at complete peace, reunited with my grandparents and many other relatives that went before she did.
This experience is one that puts life into perspective.
Appreciate every day you are given - each one is a gift. Don't take your loved ones for granted. When you say "I love you", say it like you mean it! Make use of your time, and do the things you love that bring joy and satisfaction to you. Most importantly, don't sweat the small stuff.
I fully intend on honoring my Aunt at our wedding. It breaks my heart that she won't be there physically. I can rest assured, though, that she's watching over us...Rest in Peace, Bean.