If I've learned anything in my life, I would hope it's that family is the most important thing in the world. When that call comes that someone in your family needs you to come, you drop everything and go. Reschedule appointments, tell your boss you'll keep them updated because you aren't sure when you will be back in the office, use your credit card if you need to... and go. No second guessing, no hesitation. No thought for yourself, only for your family and their breaking hearts.
A funeral puts everything in perspective. It's a time to reflect on ones life, relationships, and hope for the future. It's when you remember that your loved one is more alive than they ever have been before, because they are in heaven.
For several weeks now I have been complaining that I wanted to go on vacation. I've been frustrated with my husband because his job hasn't allowed him to take time off since September, due to training for new deputies and being the "new guy". Well, it seems my wish was granted.
Be careful what you wish for.
A four-day trip to Georgia isn't what I planned for the past few days, but I'm learning that God laughs at my plans. I'm big on "plans". I got the call on Friday at 4:30PM that my aunt, who had been battling cancer for about six years, wasn't doing very well. Her liver was shutting down. It was "time". By 9AM on Saturday I was on the road to Georgia to be with the family. I "planned" to get there Saturday night, see her and the family, say goodbye, and leave Monday morning.
We did arrive Saturday night, as planned. But I was not able to see my aunt because she was sleeping and always in a lot of pain. My parents saw her because they arrived 2 hours earlier than us, and she didn't recognize my mom. The cancer had been in her brain for several years and was taking it's toll. I "planned" to see her Sunday morning. The family recommended we get there around 9 or 10AM because she was best first thing in the morning.
Listen to me when I say: Tell your family you love them today, because tomorrow may be too late.
9:30AM Sunday as we were getting ready to leave to see my aunt, we got the call that she was in heaven. Just like that.
I struggled with my plan not working out like I thought it would. Yet on the same hand, I believe everything happens for a reason, even if it's the opposite of what you think is right and good. I was hurting for my cousins, her three sons, Taylor, Aaron and Spencer. They're all around my age. I so cannot imagine burying my mother at my age. She was only about 50 years old.
We stayed in Georgia because they planned the funeral for Tuesday late afternoon. It was a good time spent with my cousins and family. After all, that is what is important - supporting your family and simply being there. Mom and I drove hom Tuesday night, and I got in about 2AM last night. I went to work at noon today.
I need a way to sum all of this up, and I'm not sure what that is. We are all glad that Aunt Miriam is in heaven, where she longed to be, and most of all - pain free. Healthy. Her spirit, alive.
Remember that family is the most important thing in the whole world. If you keep that in perspective, everything else just falls into place. You hurt, God give and takes away, and you need to be there for your family.