Going To Be Gone For A Few Days

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Three Beautiful Sisters
My Aunt Jackie, Mom, and Aunt Sue

My grandma, my mom, and my aunts have always made sure that even though distance separated us that we were very close. It’s just always been that way with my family.  My cousins? There isn’t anyone I would rather hang out with, though we rarely get to now. They’re awesome. I adore them all. Both of my aunts are two of my most favorite people in the world, my uncles too.  They just are really really special and I love them all so much.

My Aunt Jackie died yesterday.

My heart broke.

My aunt has fought and survived things that doctors didn’t believe she could.  Breast cancer that then moved into her breast bone, her colon rupturing after that and being septic and in the ICU for months.  She won.  She’s had a few health worries but I just always had faith that Aunt Jackie could take on anything.  Looks can be deceiving.  She was this petite, soft spoken, sweet, southern woman who had so much strength to keep battling on when life threw lemons at her health.

She was amazing.

A couple of days ago she had a tumor removed that was the size of a quarter my mom said.  She was doing great.  She was going to be in the ICU for a few days and then they were going to decide on chemo or not.

I wasn’t even that worried. I kept her on my mind, prayed, and checked in with mom a lot to see when things were happening but I just had this faith that she could anything.

Maybe it’s because I’m 15 hours away and can’t see her everyday but yesterday came as a complete shock to me and knocked the air right out of my lungs.

My mom called me yesterday morning and said we need to start praying for Jackie.  The night before she had had trouble breathing, and then she aspirated.  Then she coded. But she came back.

I’m telling you, my aunt was a fighter, she’s going to get through this.  I had faith, Father God, please heal her, Jesus, let her touch your robes.

I prayed with my mom and then got out my phone to send out a text to the prayer warriors in my life.  I had just started the text to my pastor’s wife when my phone rang again.

Sometimes things don’t work out the way you want them to.

It was my mom telling me that her sister, my Aunt Jackie had died.

She doesn’t have to fight anymore and she isn’t in pain anymore but that doesn’t make it hurt any less for those of us who will miss her so much.

I don’t just hurt because I lost my Aunt, my heart is breaking for my Uncle Randy who lost his wife of many moons, my cousins who lost their mom, their kids who lost a beautiful grandma, my mom and my Aunt Sue who lost their sister. My heart hurts for my other cousins, for Wendy and Skip, and Cory, for my brothers and my sister.  I know how I feel.  They are feeling the same loss that I am, our aunt was a beautiful woman who adored all of her family.

I have something else going through my mind.  My Uncle Denny (and his whole family minus my one cousin who wasn’t in the car) died in 1982 because a lady was drunk and got on the interstate going the wrong way on Christmas Eve.  Now my Aunt Jackie is gone also.

That made me think that someday out of myself, my two brothers, and my sister, there will be two of us left comforting each other when the other two have gone. I can’t imagine the pain of losing one of them and I never want to.

I was able to arrange things so that I can leave tonight with my mom, dad, sister, and maybe one of my brothers.  Pato was able to switch his days off so that he can be home with the kids.  It’s going to be a fast trip.  We leave tonight, drive all night, arrive in Alabama tomorrow sometime, her viewing is Monday, the funeral is Tuesday, and then we have to jet back home to be here by Wednesday morning.

It’s a hard trip, but I can’t not be there.

She was always there for me when I needed her, even if it was by phone or hand written letter when I was younger, and email/Facebook as I got older. She always signed off her letters and emails “love from Alabama”. I always was kind of in awe because my Aunt was born here in Iowa, just like my mom and her sister, but for as long as I can remember, my Aunt has been southern through and through.

She’s the first person who fed me grits and sweet tea.

I kind of love both.

I don’t plan on scheduling any posts for when I am gone.  I have to wash clothes, head to the store to get Jordan what he needs, and then come back home and make sure he is packed and ready to leave for church camp Monday morning, then I need to pack my stuff.

Aunt Jackie, you always were full of so much love for me and I am so lucky to have had you in my life as my family. I am going to miss you so very much.

Love from Iowa,

Heather Lynn

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  • kamoons

    Now you’ve gone and done it. That was a beautiful tribute to Jackie. I’m crying again. But only cause you showed your love so much in these words.

    And if that wasn’t enough, the ending, ‘Love from Iowa, Heather Lynn’ made me start sobbing. Your Dad came in to see what was wrong. I read this to him and cried thru the whole reading. He said “that was good” with a smile on his face.

    You make us so proud, Heather Lynn. See you in a couple hours. Love forever, Mom