Happy Birthday: Gone But Never Forgotten

Today marks the first birthday of a very important person in my life since her passing. It’s a special day, as February 29th only comes around once every four years. In a way, the day of her birth seems to me to be a symbol of her. This day is rare, as she was. Today is an extra blessing of the year, as she was in my life.

It is outside my literary capacity to explain how extraordinary this woman was. She was graceful, kind, full of laughter, understanding, and one of the best role models I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. Her love for her family and children was insurmountable, and I can only hope to be half the mother and wife she was.

While my relationship with my own mother struggled, I always had her to talk to. We didn’t have a mother-daughter relationship, but we had one that was unique to just us and that made me feel safe. I trusted her. This is a big deal for me as I am unable to truly open up to many people. She always asked me how I was doing, and followed up on things she knew I had been struggling with. She actually listened, which I am finding to be a rare trait in people. When she passed, I felt like I lost one of my best friends.

The trait that struck me the most about this woman was her never-ending patience. While my time spent with her was limited, I never saw her show anger or annoyance toward anybody. As someone who struggles with this, I think of her often. Even in her absence, she helps shape me into a better woman.

Angie was seen as the glue that held her family together. I see her more as a foundation on which her family was built, as she helped make them stronger. They learned how to care for each other by watching her, and although she is no longer physically present, it is obvious she is with each member of her family every day. She facilitated strong bonds between the members of her family that continue to be just as strong as they were before her passing. I hope they all know that they do a wonderful job of letting her shine through them. It’s hard to see when you’re part of the family, but as an outsider I can see parts of her in each of them.

I think the hardest part about any death is the feeling that you didn’t get enough time with your loved one. That’s how I feel about her; I just didn’t have enough time to learn from her. I wanted to learn how to garden, how to cook, how to be gracious to children, how to be a strong woman, how to love the Lord above all else, and so much more. I wanted my children to have an amazing grandma like I do. I wanted to know more about her, but there just wasn’t enough time.

“When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.”

 

I had a really hard time writing this entry. It was hard for me to find the right words to get my message across and I am still not completely satisfied with the outcome. I hope I have done her some justice up in heaven. Love you, Angie.

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