I never met my grandma (mom’s mom). She died just a little over a year before I was born. I was luckily to have a great relationship with two of her sisters, Aunt Jo and Aunt Rita. A year ago I was preparing to move away from KS so I went home and picked up Aunt Rita for lunch. We had a great lunch before heading over for an afternoon visit with Aunt Jo.
Aunt Jo has always been so easy to chat with and fun. She used to work at a department store and every time we went there we would seek her out. Jo was there when I got my ears pierced at age 5 and when I was forced to buy my first bra at 11. I was so embarrassed to buy a bra. We had a wonderful visit last year full of stories and laughter. When I gave her a big hug and kiss goodbye it was bittersweet. We all knew it was the last time I would give her a hug. She was dying of cancer. It was not the first time she had cancer and this time she had decided not to do chemo. A few weeks later when I was already moved to Georgia, she died. I was unable to attend the funeral but I had already said my goodbye. I loved her and will miss her but I felt satisfied I got my goodbye.
I took Aunt Rita home and gave her a big hug and kiss. Rita always cracks me up. She has a great witty sometimes dry sense of humor I just love. I have several beautiful crafts from her including a pillow from my childhood which reads Junebug and has a lady bug on it. Mostly because lady bugs are cuter than junebugs. A few weeks after Aunt Jo died, I called Aunt Rita. Her and Jo had talked every day on the phone and I knew it was going to be hard for her. We chatted and I said I would call again soon. I told myself I should call her once a month to check in. I meant to…I really did. They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions and I believe it to be true. Life happened and I just kept forgetting to call. I blamed the time zone difference. I worried I would be disturbing her after she got a part time job. But in truth I simply didn’t pick up the phone and call. She died yesterday suddenly. I had hoped to bring Baby Bug to her at Christmas so she could meet her great-great grand niece. Rita’s daughter had told me on facebook she had told Aunt Rita about Baby Bug and Rita had said how happy her mother (my great grandma) would have been I named Baby Bug after her. Mostly I’m kicking myself because for a year I didn’t pick up the phone and call. Sure I still wouldn’t have my goodbye but at least I would have felt like she knew I cared.
I challenge you right now to stop reading this blog and pick up the phone to call someone you have been meaning to call. They might not be home but you can leave a message. Do it now! You don’t want to one day be sitting there regretting not showing them you care. Life is about the people with whom we cultivate our relationships.