A Celebration

April 20th was my Aunt Amy’s birthday. She would have been 46 years old. I miss her. I didn’t call enough. I didn’t visit enough when she was alive. Even though there wasn’t enough, she was always there. She was always a phone call away. She was always there to share a laugh or reassure my doubts. She was always there to remind me to enjoy this life of mine. I miss here being there. The day before her birthday, my Aunt Beth, her sister, posted a simple request on Facebook:

So, tomorrow is a big day….it’s Amy’s birthday — she would have been 46. Also, my friend’s daughter Cameron would have been 12 tomorrow (Cameron was killed a year ago December in a freak car accident. I ran into the accident down the street from my house, ironically, on my way to meet Amy and the rest of the family for dinner). AND…it’s Earth Day. So, if you can…..Have some Starbucks for Amy (or toast her with your morning coffee), do an act of kindness for Cameron (this is her family’s wish), and plant something in their honor for Earth Day (or do something good for the earth). It’s a lot — but it’s all good! Love to you all during this crazy week xo

As I drove to my morning run, I turned on Paolo Nutini. I sang along and I cried. The first half of my run was heavy. There was a horrible head wind I was fighting. I ran from the beach to a favorite trail. Before I turned around to head home, I stopped to say Happy Birthday to Amy. I finished the run feeling light. I remembered how to run. After my run, I treated myself to an iced coffee. As I stood in line, an adorable young couple got in line behind me. They had to be in their late teens. They were happy and light and still giggly and in love. I decided to buy their coffee.

I turned around to tell them I was paying for their purchase. They insisted I didn’t have to, but when I told them why they both gave me the best hug. The young girl then told me her uncle passed away last night.

The sadness in our world can be overwhelming. The news can stop us in our tracks and keep us captivated for hours. We can try to understand why bad things happen to our country, to our families, and to those who mean the most to us. No one should leave our world at the age of 46 before her boys have grown up. No one should run a marathon to learn that their child died while waiting to cheer him on.  Young love shouldn’t be interrupted by the realness of life. A life shouldn’t end before one even knows how amazing it feels to fall in love.

I think my Aunt Beth has a better idea. I like her challenge to spread love. Don’t waste your energy wondering why. Don’t get consumed by the sad. Take the love that you have for life and share it with the world.

Connect. Embrace. Liberate. Love somebody. Just one person. And then spread that to two. And as many as you can. You’ll see the difference it makes. ~Oprah

Me with Cole, Amy with her youngest Liam, Beth with Alex and Annabelle
Me with Cole, Amy with her youngest Liam, Beth with Alex and Annabelle
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