Sitting home alone thinking about two special people who passed away in January 2013. Both were incredible individuals who touched my life profoundly. They loved life and enjoyed it’s simple pleasures. I can’t help but smile when I think of them. This being the anniversary month of their passing I’m compelled to share what I wrote about them two years ago.
“Lives Well Lived: Aunt Dorothy Marseilles”
Today I’m doing something completely out of the norm. In fact in the two years that I’ve been blogging I’ve only done it twice before. And what is that you ask? It’s not really a big thing, but when I started my blog I promised myself that I wouldn’t become a “cut and paste” blogger, meaning I didn’t want to simply write introductions and conclusions, then paste in an article or news piece written by someone else in between, that is not my style. But today after reading my daughters blog (The Everyday Extraordinary) rather than posting a JS original, I felt compelled to share her blog post with
Today my daughter posted a very moving piece about our Aunt Dorothy who passed away last Friday evening. Aunt Dorothy was an incredible woman! She had a loving heart and a great sense of humor. I had the good fortune of meeting her 42 years ago when I started dating my wife. She welcomed me into the Gaul fold with open arms and a big smile! We always got along well! God graced her with a long and joy filled life! 96 years young when she passed, she lived life to its fullest, her loving and giving nature made it look easy. Throughout her life journey she touched many lives, both young and old alike. Her life is an inspiration to us all. She will be sorely missed.
Here is my daughter’s article.
Lives Well Lived
It’s hard to believe that this picture was taken nearly eleven years ago on our wedding day. All four family members who were present at the table are now gone. My Aunt Dorothy, the oldest of the siblings, passed away Friday at the age of ninety-six. Her wit, sharp mind, and love of life was , evident in the busy life she lived. She was extremely social and looked forward to many daily occurrences with her friends. They played cards, had potlucks and celebrated life together. We went to visit her a while back and she was so proud of her roses. . .another pleasure she found that added beauty and longevity to her life.
I looked forward to our yearly reunions on the first of the year as we had football pools, chicken, and lots of laughs. This year was the first time I can remember her not being there–as she was recovering from a bout of pneumonia. I write about her here in this space because I want my kids to know the value of hard work and who my great aunts and uncles were. They grew up fast, having lost their father at an early age; they had many responsibilities and lived through the Great Depression. They valued family first and foremost. They all worked hard at their jobs and in their marriages. I want my kids to see these people as our past who paved the way for our present and I want them to aspire great lives of love and sacrifice in their own homes, with their own families in their futures.
Who we are today is a result of the love and sacrifices of the family who was here first. I feel like some of us have forgotten that core nucleus that we claim as our own to: sports, activities, careers, quest for more money, and more things. . . I want what they used to have. I will fight for my nightly dinners together as a family, more real life connection with my parents, brothers and their families. I will fight for our Friday Family Fun nights, and leisure walks on the weekend, rest on the Sabbath Day, and traditions that are meaningful and valuable to shaping our hearts, not succumbing to the pressures or expectations of the world.
The ending of that generation does not need to symbolize the ending of ideals that were family focused. I have the power for their memories and love to live on in the lives we lead with our own children. As a tribute to my grandparents, great aunts and uncles who have gone before me, I will continue to love longer, deeper, with intention and focus so that we have the kind of family that is close in hearts.