We are back from our extremely emotional trip to NY. Flying up for the funeral of our 43 year old niece, Lori, was definitely the hardest trip we ever made. Thanks to my big sister and brother-in-law for taking fantastic care of us in every way.
We learned a lot about life on this trip. Lori was a big ball of love and in return, was loved by everyone. There was no way of telling how many people showed up to honor her and pay their respects to her family, because there were people everywhere you turned. The stories were all the same. Her thoughtfulness and willingness to extend herself to anyone that needed a hand, was the constant thread in each story shared. One woman told us the story about how she had come from Japan about 10 years ago and her son, who spoke very little English, was in pre-school with the twins. The woman who had no met friends yet, was diagnosed with cancer. Lori stepped right up offering to transport her son and do whatever she could to help the woman with her son. The woman came to the funeral to let her family know that Lori made her a better person. Everyone who’s life was touched by Lori expressed that same sentiment.
Lori lived her life. She made each day count. She worked hard at home and at work. She volunteered at school, at baseball and at Girl Scouts. She took care of her dad (my brother) when he was living in her and her family’s home and dying of pancreatic cancer. She was a great wife, sister, aunt, cousin, niece and friend. She loved her animals, Candy Crush, going to the movies on Friday nights, playing pool, watching the fights. She loved the Rock. I wish she had gotten to meet him. She loved her huge extended family but nothing held a torch to the love she had for her twins, who she tried very hard to have and worked so hard to help them become the beautiful young adults they are today.
At the funeral, a poem that many of us have heard before was recited. It’s worth repeating.
My niece only lived 43 years, but her dash was extraordinary.
Thank you so much to everyone who was so kind, generous and loving these past 10 days. Your kind words, hugs, texts, messages, donations, help with the house and work…all mean so much to me and our family.
We did a lot in NYC in honor of Lori and the dash. We walked everywhere in that amazing city and saw things we never saw before. Today, it is back to work and continuing to work the dash.
I hope you will read that poem and work on your own dash.
A very happy birthday to Jolene, Jolene who we love to pieces and who definitely knows how to live each day to it’s fullest. Keep living the dash, Jolene and enjoy your day!