This past week I lost a very dear cousin of mine, Tony Pickering. He fought a long hard battle with cancer for nine years. Always keeping positive and believing he could win. . . and I guess he did win. Tony was a great artist in four mediums, charcoal, bronze, stone, clay. I don't believe his hands have really been stilled. He will go on creating. I know where he is and it gives me great comfort but he is going to be missed. Most of all he will be missed by his sweet wife Andrea. I know how much she will miss him, because I have buried a husband. It is hard. And it never goes away. The past few weeks I have done a lot of "remembering". Remembering my childhood and the way life was. Tony lived next door to my Grandma Dot. I called it the Pickering compound. Grandma and Grandpa Pickering lived on the other side of Grandma Dot. Uncle Mack and Aunt Lucy (Tony's parents) lived on the other side of Grandma. The Pickering family is very close even now. Cousins are cousins. Tony is my mother's first cousin, so it makes me a first cousin once removed from Tony. Tony's dad, Mack was my Grandma's little brother. The times were wonderful through my childhood eyes. Grandma and Grandpa Pickering, Grandma Dot. And Grandma Dot's brothers and sister, Uncle Wayne, Uncle Mack, Uncle Ferron, and Aunt Colleen and their children. They are actually my great uncles and aunts, but they are more to me and closer to me. I love them so much.
My son, Mathew sent me a message today and it says exactly how I feel today.
I want to share it with you. A Keeper
Their marriage was good, their dreams focused. Their best friends lived barely a wave away. I can see them now, Dad in trousers, tee shirt and hat and Mom in a housedress, lawnmover in one hand, and ish-towel in the other. It was the time for fixing things. A curtan rod, the ditchen radio, screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress. Things we keep.
It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy. All that re-fixing, eating, renewing,. I just wanted once to be wasteful. Waste meant affluence. Throwing things away meant you knew there would always be more.
But then my mother died, and on that clear summer's night, in the warmth of the hospital room, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn't any more.
Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and goes away.... never to return. So.. . While we have it. . . it is best we love it. . . And care for it. . . And fix it when it is broken . . . And heal it when it is sick.
This is true. . . for marriages. . . and old cars. . . and children with bad report cards. . . dogs and cats with bad hips. . . and aging parents. . and grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it.
Some things we keep. Like a best friend that moved away or a classmate we grew up with.
There are just some things that make life important, like people we know who are special. . . and so we keep them close!
Stay close to those you love and care for. Life passes all too fast. We take the good and the bad, and cherish each moment we have.