I have said it before, and I am sure I will say it again, the hardest thing for me about living overseas is missing memorial services. Today many are gathering to celebrate the life of Leanne. To me she is Aunt Leanne and I will miss her, though I am thankful that she gets to hang out with Jesus and be whole.
I have loads of memories of Aunt Leanne over the course of my life, but I want to share three.
One isn't about a specific moment, but about how she engaged with people. With Leanne you didn't just say 'hi' and carry on, rather you sat and entered into life together. There were always stories and questions and she would use your name as she talked to you.
Another is about a Christmas runner she made for me and gave to me during a time when life wasn't easy for me. It comes out each year, covering the coffee table (under a pile of picture books, which were also a love of hers), and reminds me of the special woman she is - now was. (Ah, this good bye stuff can be hard!)
The final one I want to share is the small, heart-shaped box pictured here. I was married on a ferry with a view of 'my mountain', (most people call it Mt. Rainier.) Shortly after our wedding she gave me this box. It is the perfect size to hold my handbell pendant when it isn't on a chain around my neck.
The box sits on my dressing table and I think of Aunt Leanne every time I caught a glimpse of it. For the past 9 1/2 years that has reminded me to pray for her and her battle with breast cancer. Now I smile and think of the joy she is experiencing AND I pray for those that miss her everyday.