Dear Aunt Leisa,
It’s been too long. I look at the calendar and my heart hurts figuring out when the last time was that we talked. I loved listening to your stories; your quirky, crackled laugh.
Has it really been that long? Does time really keep moving, despite the brokenness left behind? How is it possible that we’re all still moving forward, when you left us for heaven, four years ago today?
Four years. My brain still can’t wrap around it. How much has happened that you weren’t able to be around for? The birthdays, the weddings, the barbecues, the cups of tea, the errands to run, the unspoken words. You never even met Jeremiah, and his life is all the worse for it. We’re all left with an emptiness, a bit of our hearts that will never be mended.
But you’ll never be gone, not really. You’ve impacted my life so much, and made me who I am. Not a day goes by where I’m not reminded of you through my actions, through Steph’s. The way we clean up spills, the way we feel about family, the plants in our homes, the tea on our shelves, the love in our hearts. The way your sons are more like you than they could ever realize or admit. And we pass that on. Your heart grows in us each day, as more of you is rooted into those that we share you with. They may not have ever met you, but your influence reaches out through every heart you’ve touched.
Life will never be the same. Sitting down with a cup of tea, settling in for hours of conversation is lonelier than ever without you. Watching the birds outside my window feels empty, the hummingbirds seemingly mocking as they hover nearby. But in the long run, I’m thankful for the heartache, the pain in my soul. If I didn’t feel it, it would mean I’d never known you, and that would be the most heartbreaking thing of all.
Thank you for investing in my life. Thank you for encouraging my passions. Thank you for caring for me like a daughter. Thank you for teaching me how to respect. Thank you for loving me, even through my bratty childhood.
I love you. Four years, forty, or more, that will never change.
(Sadly, even the grown up photo is already eight years old.)