Thursday, August 8, 2013

Are Words Enough?

My Aunt Julie passed away this week. We are headed to St. Louis for the funeral tomorrow. When I think of her I think about her big smile, big heart and big laugh - all great qualities.
Paul & Julie were married in 1990. Here I am with my mom at the reception. (I forgot to say how beautiful Julie was, inside and out. This picture doesn't do her justice, but does display her signature "big hair".)[/caption]
Since I got the news, I cannot think of the right words to say to my uncle and my cousins. I'm not sure that I can convey all of my feelings in a fashion that makes any sense. If I were in their shoes, I would be a hot mess. Even now as I'm typing this, I'm a hot mess.
In my opinion, my cousins Corbin and Elaina are very similar to my brother and me. They too are four years apart, have similar interests and seem to get along really well. They are both hipster-types (sorry for incorrectly categorizing), who are into punk-ish music and unfortunately nearly everything I know about them comes from Facebook. But like I said on Facebook - I think they're the cat's meow.
Because I see so many similarities between Corbin/Elaina and Joe/me, I am stressing over saying the right thing. I hope that whatever words I do say tomorrow are comforting and somewhat intelligent.
Corbin is a public relations student at UNC-Charlotte, and is quietly witty. He is a phenomenal writer; I read his blogs and stories and other posts diligently. (Sorry if that's creepy??) While some of his work is above my head, I admire his writing. After his mom died, he wrote this wonderful blog about her and how she'll fit in wonderfully in heaven.
In the blog, Corbin says - "Despite being insecure about never graduating from college and lacking confidence in her “smartness” — a trait that’s grossly overrated — Mom spent her time comforting the scared, depressed and worried. Julie Kofron Peters truly gave more more than she took.

She’ll never get to hold her grandchildren or watch Elaina and I walk down the aisle. And she won’t get to enjoy retirement with Dad or sip the glass of wine in Tuscany she always wanted. But she can leave the Earth knowing she paid some of the “smartest” people she encountered a lesson in the most valuable human trait: empathy."

Corbin, Elaina & Paul are so strong, and the stories and memories of my aunt are truly heartwarming. Aunt Julie was as open, welcoming and loving as everyone says; I am lucky to have known her.
Truthfully, I can't compete with words as powerful as those above, and I would never want to. When I get to St. Louis tomorrow, I'm going to hug the people that matter to me ... my family. I think that might be more important than the probably teary words I'll say.

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