After an up-and-down year in 2013, I’m digging 2014. So far, not just “so good,” but great.
We lost several people last year — my Uncle Kikie, Cousin Ken, a few friends, but the hardest for me was my sister, Marion. A year ago, if someone had even suggested that Marion would be gone, I would not have believed it. She was the invincible one. The one who always made lemon meringue pie out of lemons (pshaw on lemonade!). The one who prevailed.
I’ve written a lot about her loss, but you know what? Almost eight months later I still cannot grasp it. She was such a presence in our lives and it’s unbelievable that she is gone. I think about her every day.
With each loss comes something new. This past Tuesday, my nephew and niece Travis and Jill gave birth to a beautiful, healthy redheaded baby girl named Maylee Mary McCleary. Such a lyrical, sing-song aspect to that name. I love it, and man, did I fall in love with that baby girl. She’s an angel. She’s perfect.
Looking at my redheaded nephew so protective and loving toward his new daughter, I can’t help but wonder about my own redheaded dad, Ralph, when his first redheaded daughter, Marion was born.
Life was so different back in 1942. My mom spent 10 days in the hospital, and she said she couldn’t walk after being in bed so long. Dads were not allowed anywhere near that.
Travis spent the two nights in the hospital with Jill and baby Maylee. That’s a positive change. The whole family bonding, as it should be.
Holding that baby girl, I couldn’t help but think she seems like an old soul. I don’t claim to know anything, but this I do believe: love is what continues. It is the most important thing in life. As each life grows and passes on, love is the one thing that binds us to each other. We need to keep the memories alive.
I am so much in love with Maylee; I love her parents Jill and Travis; I love my sister Marion; I love my dad, who loved all four of his redheaded children. I love all my family.
If I die tomorrow, I hope each of my family members know and keep that love.
Here’s to you Maylee — I hope I can give you some happy memories before I die.