February “hello’s” and “goodbye’s…” <3

“The story of life is quicker than the blink of an eye, the story of love is hello, goodbye.” ~Jimi Hendrix

I’m such a quote nut, it’s kind of silly but it really helps out in the inspiration department for me. The quote above in particular hit me at the right time. About this time of the year, I get to thinking a lot about how quickly LIFE does go by. February is often a month that yields reminders for my family and I about the lives that we’ve loved and lost. For a period of time, this month seemed surrounded by a steady mixture of emotions… a lot of “hello’s” and “goodbye’s” so to say.

It began with the sudden passing of my dad’s father on February 19, 2001 and was too soon followed by my mom’s mother losing her battle with cancer on February 16, 2003. Both of them lived what we remember as long and full lives, however it still seemed too soon at the time as they were just in their early 70’s. Ironically, the day that my grandmother passed away was also my youngest sister Brianna’s birthday. As unexpected and coincidental that it was, the passing of two of my grandparents within two years, all the while surrounding my sister’s birthday was something almost surreal when I look back on it. It was an intense time of emotions, that I just can’t put into words.  We had to make it even more of a point not to let the deaths in the family overshadow the life that was still living and growing, especially with something like a birthday . The grieving process is incredibly hard and unique to everyone and it has the opportunity to consume us for a time. I can imagine that the time period for me was nothing compared to what my parent’s must have gone through, or my sister for that matter.

As time truly does heal, that missing piece of our hearts that felt as though it would never be filled again, did somehow become whole once more. Life went on and the memory of our grandparents continues to live on strong thanks to the memories and stories that they have left behind. I still wish some times for a moment again to tell them that I love them. To have a chance again and really listen with all my heart to the amazing stories that my Tata (dad’s dad) loved to share about his life. Or to cherish again the laughter of my grandma’s. It was so contagious and so a part of her essence. Though bringing back that time in this life is not possible, the love for them continues to live in my heart.

My Tata and I camping when I was younger

My Grandma and one of my aunts playing with me as a baby

Love can live on through many ways; through the memories, through pictures, and especially through the LIVING. My sister Brianna just celebrated her 24th birthday. Brianna is very much a living part of this month. She is a vibrant and talented soul (an incredibly gifted pianist). She is a very strong young woman and recently has been through some enormous test’s to her character and strength. It is all part of her journey of life and that is what’s important. As an older sister I feel so proud to continue to witness growth in her. Although we aren’t the little kids that we once were, it doesn’t mean I stop watching out for her. I always want the best for both of my sister’s. We’ve all had our fair share of growing and learning to do and continue to. Whether the experiences are difficult or not, it’s what makes us and our stories. The three of us all have taken our own unique paths, but are still here for each other through it all. Thankfully our parents set us up with a very solid foundation of support too I might add. I wanted to share and acknowledge the special person Brianna is, especially for her birthday that just passed but also just to let her know again how happy I am for the huge steps she has taken, and the courage she’s shown. I admire her for it more than she probably realizes! These are the things I never want to regret that I didn’t say. I love her so much!

Brianna and I

Life definitely goes quicker than a blink it seems and often we wait until it’s too late to express our feelings to those we care about. Opportunities are here now while we are here to live it, while we have the arms to hug, the eyes to admire, the ears to listen and the words to speak of how important our loved one’s are to us now in this very moment. I hope to always try my hardest to show love and appreciation for the people who mean so much to me before it is too late. To take up the moments while I have them. Loving and celebrating life of the living seems as important as celebrating the memory of life once it leaves us. I guess it’s about sharing more “hello’s” before it is “goodbye.”