Due to having both strep throat and the flu simultaneously, I am late to posting this.
My Aunt passed away peacefully last Thursday ,following a 14 year fight with Alzheimers. I wanted to re-post a blog I wrote two years ago after staying with my Aunt and Uncle in memory of my Aunt and in honor of my Uncle.
I have always been inspired by the both of them. They have played big roles in mine and my late mother’s lives. At a young age, they instilled in me a passion to travel from hearing stories and seeing pictures from all over the world. Having lost my father at a young age they stepped in to help in a variety of ways but largely provided a great example of what a marriage looks like. I loved their tender moments as much as I loved watching their skillful banter, it rivaled their skills at tennis, golf or skiing. It is with heartache I let go of my Aunt who taught me so much, but not with out peace of mind to know she, my Uncle and cousins no longer suffer from this awful disease.
Repost from 2014: I’m on vacation visiting my family. My mother, who died at 55 from cancer, is no longer apart of these vacations and is missed. My Aunt Patti, my mother’s sister, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in her early 60’s. Now, vacations here mean more than surfing, golf and tennis. It means watching a cruel disease take your loved ones spark and smile. But it also means being inspired by all sides of love. The depth of love exampled by my uncle to his ailing wife of 50 years, is beautiful and touching.
As a writer, I had the visceral need to get my thoughts onto paper. To write about my love- hate relationship with time.
As much as I hate the cruel disease that took over my aunt, I am comforted by her life.
My Aunt and Uncle lived a life worthy of envy. I think part of my love of traveling stems from looking at their pictures and listening to their adventures from all over the globe. They took life by the “cojones” and never looked back.
Below is the poem I had to write and share….
Time is a friend to all, yet a friend to none.
It can heal all wounds, or lacerate a new one.
Your view depends on your perspective.
Cancer makes you appreciate what is left.
Time becomes a gift to be cherished.
With Alzheimer’s, time is a torturous thief.
Slowly robbing you of your mind, your family’s spirit.
Live your life, like you are on stolen time.
Never wait till time is your enemy to live.
Time parallels money, feeling we never have enough.
Some have an abundance, others are short-changed.
Some spend cautiously, others more freely.
Not knowing the balance until the account is empty.
Whatever the sum, learn to let go.
Live on your own terms, with no excuses or regrets.
Explore the world, laugh daily, love openly.
Exhaust all your funds, before life tells you
You are bankrupt.