I always had the idea to go visit them again in the future. Always soon. When things calmed down. When I take a break from doing this crazy running thing. When Eli gets older. When we do a cross country drive. Or they'll be coming through here sometime on one of their adventures since they're both retired, then I can see them.
But my aunt passed away yesterday morning, suddenly and unexpectedly, and now I've lost that chance.
There's an emptiness and a grief now. We always got a card at the holidays, we always got postcards. There were facebook interactions, there was a visit when Eli was a baby.
But what I remember most was that joy between my aunt and my Dad's brother. They were so in love whenever I saw them, so much fun to be around, so much kinship when we were all together as a family around my Grandma Hrach's dining room table, or crammed in the kitchen making sandwiches as everyone showed up for lunch. I don't think we every laughed more when we were all together.
So my lovely aunt is gone. But not gone, because she's in my heart. She's in the hearts of my three lovely cousins and my uncle, and my cousins' beautiful babies.
Still my world feels a little dimmer today, but also a little smaller. And today, I'll hug my son a little tighter, lean against my husband a little longer, and make sure the people I care about know that I care about them.
Today, live a full life, love deep, and forgive often. You never know what will happen tomorrow.