Thursday, July 09, 2009

Rest In Peace Aunt Ginnie

Wow... things sure can change quickly. Just talked to my mother. Apparently one of my aunts on the Greek side of the family developed lung cancer just two weeks ago. Okay, she was diagnosed... it was probably a long time in coming as she was a lifetime smoker. Anyway... I just got off the phone with my mother. Aunt Ginnie died today. She was only 73 years old.

I'm not really sure what to think. We weren't particularly close, but she was one of my favorites of the Greek get-togethers. I'm very thankful I was home for Christmas and seeing everyone this December. Very grateful that I have a happy memory of her... with her green salad that she always brings and her wrinkly smile. I feel for her two grandchildren... they just lost their "yia-yia" the Greek word for Grandma. Ginne was always fun. She treated my brother and me like equals... she would sit on the floor with us when there weren't enough chairs to go around. She was the nonGreek that married into the family - something we appreciated, being only 50% Greek ourselves. She had a brilliant laugh and a golden heart.

It's Greek tradition to wait 40 days to have a memorial service. I don't know why... but that's what the family does. I'm not sure if I'll be able to afford the ticket up to go... but hopefully I can at least leave something for the service when I'm in the area next week before the beach trip. That side of the family has had a rough time... 4 sons, 2 of them have already passed, 2 are remaining. Her husband is the second child of three... they were the nephews and nieces of my "Papou" or Grandpa. Our families have gotten together for as long as I can remember... the cousins... or, as I call them, "the Greeks."

Life is so fragile... that's for sure. It gives me a lot to think about. I sit here, still in the coffee shop, still unemployed. Just... thinking. She had a bad cough, but that was it. Two weeks later, she was dead. How much of my life have I wasted stuck in my head or trying to change the very core of who I am? How many days have I let slip by in my own selfish stickiness... when really? Every damn day is a gift. We don't know when we are destined to leave this world. We don't know when the hour might be our last.

So, my dearest Aunt Ginnie, you have my heart and my soul wishing you the best right now. Wishing you peace and tranquility. Wishing you healing from the pains you have suffered. Wishing you safe journey as you reunite with your sons. Wishing you the happiness that life ceased to provide for you. Wishing you love from those already gone and those still in this world.

And for me? I think it's time to stop wallowing in myself and to face the remaining demons that need facing. Life really is a fragile, precious gift. I'm not going to waste it any more. This world is such an incredible, beautiful place. There just isn't time to waste any more. I'm 25 years old. How do I know I'll live to be old? I can only hope to be so lucky! Now is the time to be thriving... enjoying my "youth" and my energy and all that. Not wasting away in various issues... obsessively worrying about the meaning of life and my purpose here... so enough. I'm done whining about being unemployed. I'm done poopooing my dreams. I'm done saying "another day" - what about THIS day?

Hmm. I think I just found motivation. Because honestly? There is so much in life that I want to do. So much that Ginnie would have wanted to do. So very much. With people that may not be around forever. With opportunities that may not knock again. With so much. I want to love and be loved. I want to be free. So if I have to face my dying day, I go with peace of spirit, heart, body and mind.

1 comment:

Reagan said...

I did a double take when you wrote that you were 25!! I don't know why I had forgotten that we are only a year apart. Well, maybe I do. 1. We don't talk enough anymore!!! But more so, #2, you have done SO much with this life, and you have matured so beautifully and gracefully. I was so in awe of you when I visited your "new" life in NY, and I remain in awe of you now.