Connection and Loss

I have written this blog post over and over in my head over the last few days, while driving, sitting in church (I know you just fell off the chair – hope you’re alright) or while trying to fall asleep. Of course thinking about it and putting it to post are two completely different things.

Yesterday I attended the funeral of a childhood friend’s mother. It was far more difficult than I thought it was going to be. There were many different reason, but mostly it fell to two. The first being I understood what they were going through because of my Dad. The other was because I could see the pain the family was going through. I don’t know if the pain was so visible on my brothers and I when my Dad pasted. I don’t think so. Both families had time to say good-bye, our time being a little longer with my Dad from the time the Doctors told the us the final diagnosis to his passing. I think by the time my Dad passed we were very numb to the pain and I don’t know if  people could complete see it in us. Either way seeing their family hurting the way they were was extremely hard to witness. Their loss was great, Mrs. O’Leary was the core of their family. She was the pillar, the cornerstone of the family. They now stand together one less, but in someways just as strong and resilient. The children learning that strength from their Mother and you could see it yesterday even through the sorrow. All three children, Brenna, Jeff and Charleen supporting their Father even in their sadness.

All these people were such a large part of my life. The years have distanced us, but the memories are still there, the things they did, the part of my life they occupy will stay with me forever. I remember being in Brenna and Charleen’s room and us getting in trouble for touching Brenna’s things, as little girls who want to be like older sisters do. Mr. O’Leary dressed and taking care of my foot when I stepped on a rusty nail in the woods, calming me down with his jokes while being a parent to one of his many neighborhood children. Jeff who was my first kiss and later with his teasing (he’s just like his father) urged me find the strength (more to prove to him I could do it) to build a room in my Mom’s house to bring my Father home when he was sick. [Also the fact that Jeff told my Mother (very politely) that she foolishly had been making me lug around a full bath tub for two day and not a tub-surround after I had frustratingly told her she had been wrong.] Being a “Penny Sister” with Charleen, the secrets we kept, the trouble we found and fun we had – there are far to many moments to list here. She came to my Father’s funeral, seeing her was unexpected but it was what I needed to cry at that time. She reminded me of my Father’s connection to the neighborhood and his love for the kids that made  up my childhood, from the O’Learys to the Palmieris and the Perakslis family to the Ellsworths.

Along with seeing the O’Learys in their time of loss, on Tuesday night I was struck with the realization that we had all grown up. At Mrs. O’Leary’s wake on Tuesday evening I stood face to face with friends of my childhood some who I had not seen since high school graduation. Yes, there as been the occasional drive and wave as we past our parent’s houses, but long talks and visits for me have been very few and very far between. This is mainly my fault as many of my friends know I am terrible at keeping in touch. I believe it is one of my true faults that I should work on. Most of us being around (give or take few year) the age our parents would have bought the houses we grew up in on Maverick, Pinto and Morgan. We stood together some of us who have lost parents, while others example their parents health concerns. We talked about our siblings, our children and friends that had moved away but stayed in touch. My Mom said it was very surreal seeing us together. We were all grown-up, the kids that had swam in her pool, played in her basement and my parents had taken for ice cream were grown-up standing before her. I can say honestly I felt the same way. There was no way we had children of our own, because we are children ourselves.

For myself I see that I have to make a better effort to reconnect. My friend Kristen said that Facebook has helped with that and I would have to agree, but that is only a start. Yes we have our lives, we have our families and the day to day, but we have to remember these connections make us human. They remind us of who we are. These people saw is before we had opinions, political ties, baggage and goals. When getting to the bus stop on time was the biggest concern or if you sat at the front or back of the bus. They knew us before we had college degrees, before we had husband and wives, ex’s and break-ups which cost us material items. They new us before our careers and businesses. They knew us before our children shaped us into parents. This connection (or should I say reconnection) goes further than just my childhood friends. I have my college friends which I need to be better about seeing, keeping up with and talking to. You might even add on my brothers to this. I don’t talk to them nearly as much as I should.

This week has been a full reminder to me of the connections we make, the ones we keep and those that we break. This came about because of a woman who made so many connection through out her life, she kept them, fostered new ones and cherished old ones. I’m sure there is a lot of reflection due to Mrs. O’Leary’s passing this week. Those reflections should be fostered. From them we should grow and in turn honor the woman who brought them to light. My prayers go out to the O’Leary family and my thanks go out to Mrs. O, who has reminded me of what is important.

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~ by Cute Fan Girl on January 12, 2011.

One Response to “Connection and Loss”

  1. Kim..Charl and I just read your post. Thank you for your kind words. Sharing these types of memories is very comforting to us. Be well….Brenna

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