till we meet again

After some time away from the blog, I was ready to write again. And a post was percolating last Thursday in my mind when news came regarding family in Alberta.  My aunt Marie (deWit) Lievaart, my mom's youngest sister, died on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016 surrounded by family in a Calgary hospital.

My post will wait.  I would like to share this instead:

I typically go by the name Sara or Spot. Yet, these past few days, I've been holding my second name closer to my heart. I am Sara Marie... after Aunt Marie. She was just 19 when I was born, and she was always the "young" aunt with an infectious laugh. I was her four year old flower girl, and as extended family, we always enjoyed the Lievaart visits to Ontario. I remember car trips to Alberta with my family, and in 1994, I traveled on my own to visit her, following an out-of-sorts college year. She taught me how to drive a truck Alberta-style, and sent me to a rodeo with my (little) cousins.

After the death of my mom, Aunt Marie took the time to photocopy all the letters my mom wrote her over the years.  My sisters and brother treasured that glimpse into Mom's life through the letters.  I also appreciated the letters Aunt Marie wrote me.  I am not sure electronic communication can truly replace a handwritten letter.

After the births of Rachel and Janneke, Aunt Marie's experience of working as a nurse in the community lent itself to encouraging me and advising me. I remember calling her in 2009 when my panic attacks started, and she listened patiently to my concerns. I will miss mailing her colourful Ontario leaves in the fall. My mom did this for her from time to time, and when Em and Soph were quite young, one October, they insisted on mailing Aunt Marie leaves from our maple trees. Soon afterwards, the girls received a photograph of the leaves hanging on her wall.  Em and Soph were thrilled.

Aunt Marie was a gem. She will be missed.  I am including her obituary here. What I love is that the family chose Rehoboth Christian Ministries, which works to empower persons living with disabilities, to receive memorial tributes in Aunt Marie's name.

Thank you, Aunt Marie, for living out joy.

Sara Marie

all Joy reminds. It is never a posssession,
always a desire for something longer ago
or further away
or still "about to be."
c.s. lewis