In these recent days of heated political debates about Supreme Court Justice nominations, universal healthcare, and the life/death of Senator Ted Kennedy, my thoughts have lingered on a dear cousin, Vi, who passed away back in March.
We spent many a day, watching C-SPAN and sharing thoughts on current affairs. When I heard that Teddy had passed, my first thought was to call Vi. Then I remembered. She is gone. Luckily for me, shortly before her death, we had a serious conversation. At the time, I had no idea that she would pass away in a few short weeks, but felt compelled to share my feelings for her.
It was emotional and tearful to us both. She was like a mother to me. I thanked her for everything she had done for me. I told her how much I appreciated having her in my life and the lives of my children. I've always known her and can't think of a single incident where she said anything that could be construed as mean. Not to say that she didn't tell me about myself when I needed to be told, but it was always out of love.
Yesterday, I spoke to her son, who is like a brother to me. For most of our lives, we lived within blocks of each other--sometimes living in the same apartment building, sometimes even living in the same apartment. We try to speak every couple of weeks. We talked yesterday for a couple hours. It was nice. We talked about her, among other things. Since she's been gone, he always seems to be a bit sad, even when he's happy. I probably seem the same.
Is it true that time really heals such hurts? If so, how much time? When does it stop feeling so raw? And are there folks in your life who you are truly thankful for? Have you told them?