I am amazed at how selective our memory and thoughts are and why it's important to guard our thoughts and not internalize all of the "noise" that is around us; especially in this media age. I learned this past Tuesday that another matriach of the family, a cousin died, Cousin Lucille Dozier who was married to my grandmother's brother. My own grandmother died about a year ago and then her sweet sister, Auntie Ceola died in the winter. The family is planning a reunion for June and I'm not going due to some other commitments. But now more than ever, may be the time to have short reunions with family members to re-connect as family. In the busyness of my work week and then learning some very exciting news and dealing with some "church mess", I finally was reminded on late Thursday, that Cousin Lucille was gone. What a reminder to slow down - the world around us tries to make us spin and work up a lather of "things to do". However, if you live like this you miss special moments - everything becomes a blur, even the important stuff. Now that I'm quiet enough to hear myself think, I am ready to talk about Cousin Lucille.
In reality, I have not seen her in decades! My selective memory brought me back to my years as a little girl and my sister and I going to Staten Island to visit she and her daughter, Karen. What fun we had in NY! Vivid memories of interest come to mind:
- The dog poop! Yep, that's what I remember. Cousin Lucille taking us on walks in the city and my having to "look down" to make sure that I did not get my sneakers or sandals (urghh) stuck in "mess". LOL! I hated going outside of the apartment because of the TORMENT of having to watch out for some dog's poop. And can I tell you, there was ALWAYS some dog poop (the whole owner duty to scoop after your pet was not "thang" back then and NY was full of it).
- I remember the "girlie fights" we cousins got into all the time. We loved and hated each other at the same time...LOL. We would fight the whole time of the visit and then cry to point of hysteria when we had to split up and I and my sister went back to CT. Can I tell how many "extended visits" we had because we girls knew how to cry, moan and just carry on! It was a show, for real.
- I remember Cousin Lucille's smile and her wavy, sandy brown hair parted in the middle. She was also somewhat shy, not really loud spoken (we had others who "played that family script"), but you had the sense "she could go there if you pushed her".
- She loved her husband and her children. I know that...she loved us too!
I remember when I lost my father...the first major loss of my life and I still try to touch him and feel him. I see him often in the men I come across in my life after 6 years of being dead. He is in heaven with Jesus now and that always brings me comfort. But I miss him being in the world with me. I always felt "safe" because he was in the world. How I depend on God to fill that terrible void. My father has become larger than life now that he is gone. This week I spoke about him to a co-worker and I talked, and talked and talked. I'm so thankful that my co-worker didn't get "bored"..He let me talk allowing me to "get it out" if you will. When you lose a parent, you lose the model of what you thought "being an adult" would look like...You have to talk about it so you don't lose those precious memories and special moments. I like to talk about the values my father taught me with his life. He wasn't a big talker either. Now I can reflect on the things he wanted to teach me by how he lived his life. Isn't that the greatest message anyay? How you live your life? Isn't that what people remember?
You will be missed Cousin Lucille...and I pray for your family down here and me, and mommy too. Losing a parent is hard to go through...but God is faithful. He is always so faithful. There is no sorrow that "Heaven cannot heal".