Tonight it breaks my heart to write the things that have been in my mind since yesterday morning. Yesterday morning, when my sweet and gentle father called in tears to let me know that his youngest sister had died tragically in a car accident that morning. Her youngest child home from college, alone, at the house waiting for her to arrive.
Among the many people that love her she will be greatly missed by her 4 beautiful and incredible children, her husband, her father & step-mother, her mother, her 3 older sisters and, my father, the oldest of the 5. She was the baby and as with many youngest she was something special to them all.
Kristen Marie Gardner was her name and I will never forget her life. She had the ability to make me feel that years of distance meant nothing and that her love for me meant the she knew me. And she did.
My last memories with her, from just a few years ago, will always be held near to my heart. We talked and laughed. I scolded her, while shielding my eyes, for being naked too much. I didn't inherit the naked gene she and my father share being more like my mother and opting for full nighttime clothing. We drank wine. Oh how we drank wine. Kristen was happy to partake in wine offerings and one always had to consider her presence if bringing wine to dinner. But no one would appreciate it more and your evening would be filled with delightful wine induced laughter. We sat on rocky beaches and contemplated things that I cannot recall. I wish I could, at the time I didn't realize that it would be so soon that I would need to. She may or may not have caused me to trespass and lose my shoes at the same time. We walked down winding roads, shoeless & drunk, searching for the river where we spent what seemed like hours talking and partaking of her home grown herbs. She had wisdom to share with me from her life of experience. I was in need of a kindred spirit. She was never afraid to be herself. To live. To love. She was open about her regrets and it broke my heart then, as it does now. My God, how I will miss her.
My baby bear never met her though I know they would have loved one another. My Aunt Kristen was a crunchy mama herself and loved having, nursing, & raising her babies. Once again, in a different time of life, our hearts shared the same joys. The night before she died The Bear and I were talking about her children and how my dad loved them. It ended with me stating, "I know you would like her," and he would.
It's difficult to suppress the tears as I write these things. So much sadness yet so much happiness in remembering the woman that she was. I hope she knew that I loved her. I can't remember the last time I told her so.
So bloggers of the world, I hope you will all tell your loved ones you love them today, and every day. And I hope you will send my dad and his family any extra positive energy you have to spare. I'm not a religious person so I am encouraged to focus on the beauty that was her life and not on what happens now that she is gone.