Firefly.

Friday morning I put my suitcase in my car, and I headed north. I had a weekend planned with my Aunt Beth. Rhett Miller from the Old 97s was singing at The Hamilton in Washington, D.C.

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Over the years my Aunt Amy’s friendship with Rhett Miller evolved. He invited her on stage to sing with him when their locations over lapped. Through chemo and full brain radiation and days spent at hospitals, she kept going. She sang.

Three Months before she passed away.

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We sat backstage with Rhett before he went on stage. We laughed and shared stories of Amy. Half way through his set, he sang for her. The entire room raised their glass and honored my Aunt Amy.

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Never say
You’ll never leave
Cuz you’ll never know til you try
In a jar
fireflies
Only last for one night
Only last for one night

I must have had a reason for leavin’
– Not one I could see
I must have had a reason for leavin’
– Must have been me
– Must have been me…

You… looked just like my mother
Did when she was 19
Not afraid to die

For the last time… I’m not your mother
And I was only 19
I’m still a firefly

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This weekend as I wandered around the National Gallery of Art staring at Van Gogh and Degas, as I sat on a bar stool in my Aunt Beth’s kitchen sharing tacos with her and her kids, as I ran on the Mt. Vernon Trail along the Potomac River, my heart felt full. I felt full of love. I felt free. I felt my light shining.

My Aunt Amy was a firefly. She shined, and there was nothing that could contain her spirit.

This weekend I was reminded that we all have the light inside of us. We can’t place ourselves in a jar. We can’t limit ourselves. We have to live. We have to shine.

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