Sadly we often do not know the last moment or opportunity we will have to express our appreciation or sing the praises of a loved one. Do we take this into consideration when we sit in silence across the room from people who have built the bricks that make up our foundation, who have painted the colors of the rainbows that we cherish? I have recently lost three of the people who most significantly imprinted and influenced my spirit, my heart, and my passions. I was loved by a wise, gentle man…a man who chuckled at the simplest of jokes, and initiated your laughter with the ease of the afternoon. A man who cared for the birds, laboring for hours building their homes, serving them, observing them. A man who plants roses, gardens, myriad plants during the sun’s climax, and then sips a cool Pepsi while enjoying the fruits of his labors as the sun sets religiously. I was loved by a man with patience as extensive as the ocean….who braved the unpredictable Oregon weather in appreciation of its greatness and majesty, in reverence of yet another afternoon meditation to negotiate the dance and surrender of a salmon, or trout…who more often than not returned empty handed but with a twinkle in his eye…to him, the river was like a religion. I was loved by a man who made me his world, and allowed me to be his intern while treating me like his buddy or princess. Thank you grandpa for your spirit and gentle heart…for making me laugh, and for making me feel important. May you rest in peace and know of my admiration.
I was loved by an angel…by a woman with the purest, softest, gentlest spirit I have known. A woman who opened her universe and made me her moon. A woman who taught us (Jeanna, Leslie, Brandon) to wonder in the simplest of moments and creations. Who took pinecones and helped us make angels and reindeers. Who took lazy afternoons and turned them into adventures. I was loved by a woman who taught me what unconditional love means, feels, and looks like…who loved me where I was at, and encouraged all that I would become. A woman who loved diversity and rejoiced in the simple moments where she could be of service to us, to cultivate our happiness, our self worth, and our spirits. I was loved by a woman who imprinted her soul into mine, a woman who I never for one second took for granted. Nana…thank you for making room in your life for me, for teaching me love so that I could one day extend it to others…thank you for being a soft place to land, and a safe place to venture out from. May you rest in peace and know of my appreciation.
I was blessed to adore a man who will never be replaced. A man who reminded me to lighten up when I saw the serious side of things…a man who lit up the room, and made you feel as if it was your doing. I was blessed to adore a man who creates life out of silent, meaningless moments…who looks at life and says ‘I dare you to keep up with me.’ A man who would drop anything in the world to help you out, to lend an ear, a hand, or to convince an army to come to your aid. I was blessed to learn a lifetime of lessons about living from a man who extracted every ounce of living from the most minute moments, and turned them into unforgettable memories. I will never forget the man who left footprints in the cement of my heart and my journey, who taught me how appropriate it is to be inappropriate. Larry, thank you for the laughs, the ‘legend has its,’ the inappropriate late night phone calls to the ‘rents, the serious moments peppered by the shenanigans. Thank you for teaching me how to live. May you rest in peace, and raise hell.
I give my thanks and my love to three of you, and would give anything to have taken the moment to say these words and so many more that will never express my love and appreciation for the effect you had on my life. Thank you for enriching and enlightening my journey, and the journey of so many others. Til we meet again…all my love, SaraMae