Last week was a hard week. In the interest of keeping it real, I'm going to do my best to write about it here. Let me start by saying that I have been blessed, incredibly blessed, with the most amazing family anyone could ever ask for. I have a big family, and we are spread out in different states, but we are a close family. My mom's family gets together every year for one huge vacation with all the aunts and uncles and cousins, we do holidays together, we play silly games, and mostly we just have fun together. We don't even need a reason.
This past weekend we all gathered together again, like we have countless other times, but this time it was different. This time there were tears, there was sadness, and there was lots of grief. I watched my brothers and my cousins carry a casket down to the front of a church. This casket shouldn't have been needed for a long time, because the body it carried wasn't old. My Aunt Tina, who was one of the most fun people I have ever known, went home to be with Jesus last week. She battled cancer for almost ten years, but to look at her you would have never known. Just last month she was playing kickball and organizing contests for us at the beach.
I saw people, young and old, stand in line for hours to say goodbye. I saw kids, who knew my aunt as their school librarian, crying so hard they couldn't look up. My aunt was a loveable person. You couldn't know her without loving her. It was impossible. Nothing I could say here would do her justice. But, I do know that when I die, I want that many people to come to my funeral. I want to live a life that is so poured out for others that the funeral director has to cut off the viewing line after 3 hours. I want the church to be packed out, standing room only, of people who were touched by the way I lived my life.
I want my kids to be able to stand up at my funeral and say that the best thing I ever did for them was encourage them to know and love the Lord. I watched my uncle stand up, in the middle of Tina's favorite song, to praise the God who is still faithful, even in the midst of the hardest thing he will probably ever have to face. I want my faith to be like that.
There are some things that I will always remember about that day. Seeing my family come together for each other like they never have before was one of the best things.
Our family will never be the same without our most fun member. This post may be sad, but it is not hopeless. I know that we serve a God who has already conquered the grave. I know that one day I will get to see my Savior face to face, and I will get to see my aunt again. That's a day I am anxiously awaiting!