Sunday, February 8

I will never forget ... ever

I will never forget the first time I heard I would be an auntie.
Barely a teen - I knew I was excited.
We were all very excited.

I will never forget the first time I heard that my niece would be born soon.
My sister was in the hospital and labour had begun.
Not in a hurry to come, the labour was truly LABOUR
And a little one was born into the world.
Keri Lee Klyne - born January 13th, 1973

I will never forget the first time I babysat.
A sweet little one
First attempts at diapering, feeding, watching her grow
I will never forget those toddling steps, and those little grumpy looks at times
I will never forget how she said all her b's as d's
And she made me laugh when she would say "Dack Duty" instead of "Black Beauty"
I loved her with all my heart.

I will never forget watching her grow up
Watching her become a big sister with all that it entailed
I will never forget wiping some tears,
picking her up when she would fall
or kissing boo-boos better
I will never forget when she stayed with us and liked to share my space
I will never forget her love for her Granny and Poppa
her love for her cousins
her love of course for her mom, dad and sister :)
her love for life
amidst the hard knocks, disappointments and heart break she encountered

I will never forget what I remember as being a very sweet time for her
as she stood by her sister's side in Cuba, the day of the wedding
so proud of her little sister
so happy to be away with family for such a joyous occasion
so beautiful in her bridesmaids dress
I will never forget that day
or the days we sat on beach loungers
or ate grilled shrimp (oh many she loved those)
or talked about life

I will never forget that summer
meeting her at Starbucks
to encourage her
to love on her
to support her
and hug her and watch as she drove off for the day
I will never forget it, as somehow life seemed to have gotten complicated for her

I will never forget hearing that she was expecting
and seeing her excited about the arrival of a little boy
we were all really excited - three babies within months
I will also though never forget realizing that life would be hard for her
although I don't know if I will ever know just how hard it would become

I will never forget visiting her in the hospital
with her newborn son
She barely looked old enough, even though she was in her thirties
She was so happy
She cradled him, talked to him, kissed his little cheeks.
I will never forget seeing my first born niece - as the first time mommy.

I will never forget conversations
the joking that the uncles gave Keri
I will ever forget worrying about her
and wondering how life would unfold
it looked hard from someone looking in
And we know now, that it was hard.
Incredibly hard.

I will never forget when she returned "home"
The Christmas hugs and tears
A sense of things being better with the world
Love flowed
It was tangible
And I realized the strength of this first born niece of mine
And I was amazed.
Truly amazed.
And thankful she was back where she belonged, with her son.

I will never forget the last Thanksgiving, and our conversation together
I will never forget the last Christmas, gathered together as an extended family once again.
I will never forget her surprise birthday
Olive Garden
Extended family
the hugest Jeannie's Cake
She was so surprised.
She was so happy.
She was now 40.

I will never forget the phone call that morning
the sound of my sister's voice
choking back my emotions and tears as I said I would come right away
I will never forget what seemed like the longest ride to the hospital
a ride that was given to me by someone who knew us all, and was there when the call came.
I will never forget the talking, the waiting, the doctors, more talking, more waiting
I will never forget watching the news report on the tv in the waiting room
And having a sense wash over me, that we were going to be saying good-bye to our first born niece

I will never forget being by loved ones side as we were told that her injury was incompatible with life
and hearing the doctor say they would need to make a decision
I will never
conversation ...

I will never forget being invited by her mom and dad, to join them in surrounding her bed
talking to her
watching her
in shock
oh, my goodness .... what pain to watch my niece talking to her sister
what pain to watch my sister and brother-in-law saying good-bye
what pain as family to watch one we loved so much,
the one who made us laugh and also made us pray so hard
the one who prided herself as Granny's favourite!!

I will never forget those last breaths
and then still but peaceful body
a shell ...
as her soul had already been with Jesus.
the lover of her soul.

I will never forget the weeping
the stillness
the love that flowed without a word being uttered
and the prayer that was offered from the lips of my son, as we huddled.

It seems like yesterday.
It has been two years.

My niece entered into the presence of Jesus
and was reunited with those we loved who have gone on ahead of her
While we don't understand ... we know that it is only for a time - and we will be together again.

I will never forget
the niece I loved
the cousin to many
the sister to her sister Mel
daughter to her mom and dad
granddaughter to Poppa and Granny
and most of all Mommy to her son.
It was only in her dying, that I really stopped long enough to see how strong this sweet one really was

I will never forget.

Love you sweet Keri - my first born niece - until we meet again - In Heaven.
I love you.

xoxo Auntie Joy

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