Sometmes it is important to bury the past so it can blossom in the future.
We recently paid our last respects to my beautiful aunt, my father’s oldest sister. In fact, she was more his mother than his sister. My father will be turning 85 this August and my aunt passed away just a few days shy of her 102nd birthday. She left this world to move on to her next adventure surrounded by her children, grand children and great grand children, after having lived a very full life.
This was not the first time I have had to let a loved one go. My father is the youngest son of a family of 10. Over the past few years, we have had to say our goodbyes to several of his siblings. But this time it felt so final. It meant the end of an era, the end of a way of life, and the end of my childhood. I knew that this meant a door to another world would forever close. And I have to admit that the days leading up to the service were more emotionally trying than I had expected them to be.
But life is rarely what we expect it to be. And as it has so often in the past, life had something else in store. It proved me wrong and pleasantly surprised me. I was expecting to bury my childhood and my connection to Slovenia with my aunt. Instead I was given a new opportunity to reconnect and rekindl family ties, to create new friendships, to release sorrow, heal old wounds and strengthen my roots. I was in fact able to come to peace and to learn one of the most valuable lessons of my life.
I learned that there comes a time when we need to bow in gratitude and reverence to what was, and gently open our hands and hearts to release the past in order to allow for new growth.
No, not to dismiss and forget but rather to remember and honor by allowing new life to emerge from the gifts that we have received. I learned that we have to be bold enough to carry these gifts into the here and now and allow them to unfold naturally and live them freely. This way we can fill the present with memories, laughter, joy and the blessings which we were so lucky to have been given by our elders.
I learned that we can use the wisdom which we have received to unlock treasures, that may otherwise remain hidden or lost to future generations, and in doing so create something of beauty and significance to positively impact many generations to come.
I’m thankful beyond words to my parents for giving me the opportunity to experience people, places and a way of life that is now long gone but will always live in my heart and reveal itself in who I am as a person.
In memory of two very strong women, two sisters, who have impacted me forever, and who have left a legacy, each in their own very unique way.
Thank you now and always…Teta Marica & Teta Angela.