Monday morning I sat down and commenced to do my usual routine, share a scripture from my devotional time and catch up on the plethora of notifications I had on fb, but when my phone popped back to my timeline right at the very top of my feed was a random condolence to the Thomas Family and for whatever reason I was going to scroll right on by but in the comment preview a name hit me like a ton of bricks. A name, I’ve said and heard a million times but suddenly it sat in the back of my throat heavy and inaudible. I could faintly hear it, but still it was not registering…immediately I searched through every last one of my cousins pages looking for someone to decry this post, but it never came instead I found confirmation.
That lump just sat in the back of my throat and would not let me swallow or speak. I sat in awe at what I read and my heart broke for the cousins I had not seen or talked to in years. My heart broke for every missed opportunity to be there, to share a smile, to get a hug, to be fussed at, to hear her strong yet resounding, “mmmhmmmm”. My aunt was gone, how many times had I put off trying to reach out to family? How many times had I failed to follow through on attempts to communicate? Quite frankly, more than I care to admit. In that moment, I just wanted to be close to family, close to someone who understood this lump in my throat, this pit in my stomach. Instead, I sat alone staring blankly at my screen, ashamed that I was estranged from a part of my family I was once almost inseparable.
Fond memories of childhood have slowly begun to run through my mind. Tonight I sit here smiling and laughing to myself of the times when life was easier and less stressful. Times when if you were out after the street lights came on, EVERYBODY on the block was going to tell on you. A time when you knew not to eat at everybody’s house because they had families to feed too. A time when I knew almost everybody in my neighborhood by name. Times have changed, and so have the people I grew up with, that includes me. I miss what home use to be, it is unfortunate that loss of life is what will bring us back together for a brief moment.
James 4:13 suggests life is but a vapor and as such do not put off saying hello or calling that cousin you use to walk home from school with or that friend you use to go everywhere with. Take time out of today to see how they are, to say “Hey, do you remember when we use to….”. Don’t waste another minute, don’t say I’ll catch them next time…pick up the phone today…search facebook…you never know what someone may need. Your presence is important to someone somewhere and likewise someone somewhere may have a word for you. If you take nothing else from this post, take away urgency to live today and not just go through the motions of life, live.
I love you Aunt Vera.