Our Family because of Anne.


We hugged a little harder. Cried a cry of sorrow. Loved a lot louder.

The funeral for my cousin, my friend, Anne, was on Friday. With every embrace, every sob, every “love and prayers,” I watched as my Cousin C and his four incredible kids opened their arms to one another, friends, neighbors, strangers, and my extended family.

Every hug, a moment.

Every whispered word, a prayer.

Every shoulder squeeze and held hand, a display of sorrow and sadness.

Every smile, a moment of fondness for a loss so great and hope so big.

We cried because we loved Anne. We cried because we miss Anne. We cried because our cousin and his family are heartbroken. We cried because we’re family.

And then we hugged one another. A little longer, a little harder. We cried to one another. A little longer, a little harder. We talked to one another. A little longer, a little harder. We said “I love you” to one another. A little longer, a little harder.

Because this is family. Our family.

To its root, we are planted. A tree of branches and leaves. We sway in the gentle breezes of blessings. We shake in the storms of the seasons. We lean toward the water of Life. We stretch up to the Son of Hope. We welcome a new branch, the buds of a new leaf. We say “see you later” to a leaf as it falls from our tree and is swept up in the wind. And we grow stronger. Together.

Right now, and for forever, this is hard. It’ll never be normal. It’ll never be easy. It’ll never feel right. We’ll always, forever miss Anne. We’ll always, forever feel a sadness and loss for Cousin C and his family. We’ll always, forever ache for him and the kids. And we’ll always, forever love and remember Anne. How she lived and loved. Always and forever.

And I know that our family will remember to hug. A little longer, a little harder. And cry to one another. A little longer, a little harder. And talk to one another. A little longer, a little harder. And say “I love you” to one another. A little longer, a little harder.

Because we are family and we have each other.

In every season. In every storm. In every blessing.

And because of Anne, we are growing stronger. Together.

 

 

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