I spent hours of my life sitting in the dining room on the heavy wooden chairs watching her create with her words; poetry, lists, and stories. Dad’s television westerns in the background, amazing smells of our next meal being prepared in the kitchen, mesmerized by her excitement for writing. Each family member’s birthday, anniversary or special event warranted a piece of her writing. A few lines that would surely brighten their day.
Time passed, and then it was I that received those original words in my mailbox. Picturing her at the dining room table taking the time to choose just the right words to brighten my day. A summary of her days at work, women’s group, or hopes for when we would see each other face to face. Taking for granted that those words may not last forever.
As I go through her old journals, lists, and poems inspired by loved ones, her words bring a joy and a sadness to my heart. Retracing her history through her words is priceless. For many of the family gatherings, joyful and sorrowful, I was part of the occasion but have forgotten many of the details. She writes of people that attended, food that was prepared and gifts that were given. She writes of the prognosis delivered by hospital doctors, the sadness of losing close family members and the people that supported her along the way. Her father, her mother, her brother and her sister, only she is left to carry the family name.
Now I visit, seeing the same women that fills my heart with joy, but now unable to share her words. But as I look into those bright eyes and see her cheerful smile I can still hear her stories.
What a gift she has left behind.