The weather in "The Grove" today is cloudy and rainy. Earlier today, as I drove though my quaint little town I passed the cemetery. What I saw made the day seem even more dismal than it already was.
Through the steady rain I could see that there was a canopy with rows of chairs set up under it. The scene was obviously waiting for a family with the unfortunate task of saying "good-bye" to a loved one.
Although I had already been thinking about it, the scene brought back to my mind a January day, when my family went through the same thing.
It was 25 years ago that my sister Peggy's youngest daughter, Teressa, left us. She was only 9 years old.
While this anniversary is hard enough to think about, sadly for us, I believe there are people who are living their lives effectively managing to live with the same condition that took my niece from us. The medication and treatments that could have extended her life are now in use. While I'm happy for those who they help, I can't help but be a bit selfish harboring a bit of frustration that those breakthroughs didn't happen in time for Teresa.
Twenty five years ago, my family was faced with a heart-breaking loss. Sure, we all knew that she had been born with her condition but it still was a difficult thing to deal with.
Teressa was the youngest member of our family. My sister, Shari, was almost 8 months along with my nephew, Bobby at the time. That kind of loss is very hard to get through and something you never get over. I remember how our family and friends rallied around us with their support.
Of course, I can't help but wonder what kind of teenager, young adult and woman my niece would have grown to be. But that's something I'll probably never know. I can only imagine something I'm sure my sister, Peggy, and brother-in-law, Gene have thought about, themselves, thousands of times over the last 25 years.
Given my preferences I would much rather honor my niece on the anniversary of her birthday in August. But I felt like I should mention something about the significance of today.
When my mind and heart go back to those grievous days there is a particular moment that I remember more than any other.
I was in my car on the day of the funeral driving in the processional headed to the ceremony for the graveside part of the service.
I was feeling especially low, and probably crying, when a song by Amy Grant came on my radio. It helped me realize that all though we were all heart broken we still had our love for each other to get us through.
It is with that song that I end this post and for two reasons. One is to remind my family of just how we got through those tough days back then and as a tribute in the memory of my niece. Here's a link to the song on You Tube. That's What Love Is For.