I'm finally headed back to Colorado in the morning. I was going to leave today right after the funeral but I picked up some little bug in Salt Lake and between not feeling awesome and Sterling and Megan and nephew being here one more night I decided to make my crazy drive in the morning instead.
The funeral was today and it was very nice. My mom gave a talk that made me cry and feel grateful she's my mom. My grandparents were really amazing through these past few days. I can't even begin to imagine the pain of watching your child die but my grandma told me today that they already dealt with the worst parts of this-now it was just a relief to know she wasn't hurting anymore and that it was over. I stood there with them for a few minutes after everyone was gone and my grandpa said flirty things to my grandma and I thought for the millionth time that if I have to wait for an eternity to have a marriage like that one I will do it. Sixty years and still talking like a couple of teenagers? Yes please.
When Aunt Barb was first diagnosed earlier this year I called her. We laughed a bunch because one thing Aunt Barb was often doing was laughing. She told me that I was her favorite. Maybe she told everyone that but it was a very sweet conversation and made me wish I'd known her better over the years.
We've known for about a month that the end was very close. Everytime the phone rang from my mom my heart would jump knowing that could be the call. When it finally came I couldn't help but think that maybe her timing was some kind of tender mercy. My particular belief system says that there is most definitely a life after death and I personal believe that the people we love get to watch over us. Family was very important to my Aunt and I feel like she knew this particular weekend I really needed mine. Although everything was tinged with sadness, I got to spend all this really lovely bonus time with the people I love the very most. I got to hear Morgan call me by my name and Wyatt nearly stopped my heart with what I really think is the sweetest baby smile in the world. I got Garrett to tell me what a lion says right in person. I saw my dad, I drove across the state with Elizabeth and we talked about school and heartbreak and the beauty of a lesson learned from a really good mistake. Logan and Kristen and I ate a truly obnoxious amount of sushi and I felt warm and fuzzy about all the good things on deck in their lives. I stayed up entirely too late with Christopher and Tasha and Emily and Aaron not once but twice. I got to introduce Megan to The Pizza Factory here in St. George and feel even more sure that my brother is some kind of superhuman for coming even though he's working on a pretty major campaign and it's 9 days before the election. I got to be here for my mom who just shouldn't have had to watch her baby sister die. She asked me Thursday night if I could imagine, "if one of them were gone," and I couldn't even let her finish the sentence. Because I can't. I'm just wild about this tribe of mine. Sometimes we fight, and we can definitely get on each other's nerves. And sometimes I'm sure we can wear the in-laws right out with our talk talk talking. But these are my people and when one of them says, "you want me to beat him up?", I feel about a billion times less alone.
I know Aunt Barb probably has a lot going on right now. And three kiddos of her own to keep watching out for. But I know she was watching all of us this weekend, making sure we don't take each other for granted. Making this weekend felt a little sweeter.
My mom put this song on the video she edited for the funeral. Say what you want about Garth Brooks, he knows how to jerk those tears.