From the day we are born to the day we die we create memories that are stored in the deep recesses of our minds. The memories form a tapestry of sorts that eventually become this warm blanket that through the years keep us warm and safe. Some memories may not always be the ones we want to remember but they are – our lives. Hopefully most will make us smile and make us realize that we lived a good life. Our experiences, adventures but most importantly the people. The people who came into our life and added to this tapestry.
A few days ago I woke up to a string of text messages from my family in Italy. This time it was to let me know that my aunt, Zia Maria had passed away. This sad news comes just a few short weeks after her husband, zio Pepe` passed away. (see Ode to my friend)
Instantly my mind was filled with memories collected through the years of our times together. The family, the fun times, the discussions, the very passionate Italian discussions (some would call those arguments) … the food …. the trips … they were all there …. And the emotions that come with the memories …. Happiness and sadness all wrapped in one. Happy because we did have time throughout our lives to be there with each other but very sad because one more family member is no longer with us. No more time … time was now taken away. Not even a good bye.
It’s as though a door gets slammed shut in your face with a big F U and they leave. Even though reality is not this way sometimes it just feels this way. Death shows up and we do not welcome it.
When I called my mom to talk about my aunts passing, I realized even more how close zia was to the family. My mom spent countless hours on the phone with her and visiting as time permitted. They occupied each others time with the trivial and not so trivial thoughts on life and day to day events. Eventually zia Maria and zio Pepe` moved to Rimini to be closer to their children … phone time between them became precious time … and then it stopped.
I suppose all this is a stark reminder of my own mortality and the limited time I have on this journey but even more so that my family is now smaller and that any time I can capture to be with them is time well spent. Time gives us seconds within each minute to express our love for each other. In the end you wont care about how much you have accumulated or how hard you worked but of how the memories of love permeate your every thought …the love you shared with others and the love you received.
For those of us that survive the passing of a loved one, we have our tapestry to hold onto tightly. So we keep accumulating the memories … they will not fail us.
Ciao zia Maria … you will be missed … we’ll will hold on to the memories so that our loved ones will continue living through us …