Saying Goodbye Is Never Goodbye

Somethings happen in your life that throw you for a loop.  They typically make you a stronger person if you choose it.  Those events keep you up at night thinking about what’s to come or what may have been.
I’ve really been wanting to get back to sharing more of my life here and not just fabulous recipes.  Tuesdays seem like a great day for story telling so expect more of it every week.  Not all will be a little sad like this is, but it’s something important to me and that is family.

(Heads up…All these pictures were from my phone so not the best!)

In November of last year my Aunt Sara (my mom’s younger sister) went in to the hospital because she had been struggling with her face drooping and some speech problems.  Earlier in the year she fell off a horse and broke her back followed by a terrible car accident 2 months later.  Let’s just say that 2015 was not her year.
For what they had assumed was a stroke ended up being some major brain tumors and cancer.  They (the doctors and her family) decided to operate to see if they could remove the tumors and then proceed with treatment for the cancer.  The removal went as great as expected, but the doctors saw the worst.  Around Christmas time they informed my aunt and her family she only had 6-8 weeks to live.  She was gently moved to her home to live out her last days surrounded by most of her loved ones.
My Aunt Sara was like a mother to me and taught me so much about the love of cooking and baking.  It’s because of her that I love it so much.  We all were so shocked and saddened by the news.  I made arrangements here at home to be ready to fly out for her funeral when it happened.  I had the opportunity to Face Time with her and heard her say, “Amy Lou!” one last time.

I was able to get a standby plane ticket from my best friend in hopes that I could fly out (and save money!).  My family dropped me off at the airport in time for a 8am flight to Salt Lake City.  You take a risk with standby, but I was hopeful.  Needless to say I wasn’t able to get on and waited for the next flight that was 6 hours later!  9 hours in a airport is not my idea of fun, but I was bound to make it work.
I arrived just in time to make it to her viewing the night before her funeral.  I was at peace with it all because of my beliefs knowing that I will see her again someday.  Plus I knew that a ton of my family would be around that I haven’t seen in years.
It truly was wonderful to see cousins, aunts and uncles that I’ve missed so much.  We all were laughing, crying and sharing our stories.  You could feel that we were all filling each other’s cups with love and happiness at such a sad time.
The next day was the funeral.  My aunt was very active in her community and church.  There were hundreds of people there and even more family than before.  The service was peaceful, happy and hopeful. Afterwards there were plenty of hugs and tears.

 Above with cousins, my grandmother and my mom!
 More of my cousins and my mom’s sisters!
My brothers and sisters.  Yes, I’m an only child, but these cousins were more like siblings than anything else.  I spent plenty of summers, road trips and holiday vacations with them.

Here are some of the younger cousins that used to pester us “older” crew!  Gosh, I love my family!

Some of us went back to my grandmother’s house for dinner, talking and of course cards!  Most of those summers and holiday vacations were spent in this home, sitting around this table playing games with my family.

It was one of those nights that I didn’t want to end.  We all said our goodbyes and parted our own ways to our own lives again.  Funerals aren’t really a dreary thing in my family.  We like to celebrate the life of those who we will see again and party like no other!

I was also able to spend time with my mom and dad, but never long enough.  My mom’s health is declining and is home bound for the most part.  Her sister’s passing was extra hard on her because my aunt used to take care of my mom.  A lot.  Just another reason I love her so much.

My dad, of all people, introduced me to Sodalicious and I am hooked!  No wonder I see it all over every Utahan’s IG feed!  Soooooo goooood!

I sure do love him!
I was able to see my best friend Julie who lives in Utah with here
family of 4 little ones.  She and I are kindred spirits and have had the
same struggles and strengths along the way.

My two best friends who have made me a better woman since high school were there to share their shoulders to cry on.  I don’t know what I would do without them!

There are nights that I go to bed with a few tears thinking about my Aunt Sara.  She was so special to me and helped me become who I am today.  If you would like to read more about her and her story told by her two daughters, you can read about that here.

Thanks for letting me share!

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