Wednesday, June 4, 2014

In memory of my Aunt Jeanna...

On May 19th my dear, sweet Aunt Jeanna passed away from ovarian cancer. She had fought the disease for almost 20 months. She tried with everything she had to beat it and thought she could but the disease took over. It surprises me how many people aren't very close to their extended family, but in my family we are together pretty much every holiday and it is always a party. My Aunt Jeanna was without a doubt my best friend and someone I could always talk to. She didn't get married until she was almost 38, so at times I felt she could really understand a lot of things I was going through. It was fun to talk with her about boys and she would always joke about how dumb they were if I needed cheering up or just a laugh. Every once in awhile she would bring a boyfriend to family outings and I would always remember evaluating them to see if they were worthy of my aunt. No one really was until Lou. The second I met him I could see how caring he was to Jeanna and he just fit with her so nicely. Lou was by her side every moment while having cancer. He never left her side. The tender way he was there for her amazes me and makes me so happy she had someone to be her rock and love her till the end. At my grandma's house there are only two queen beds and when we visited, my parents would take one and if Jeanna was there she would take the other. I never liked sleeping on the floor or on an air mattress so one day I asked if I could sleep next to her. From that day on every time we were all over it was a known fact I would be sleeping next to Jeanna. We both liked sleeping in so we never woke each other up.
A year or so before she was diagnosed she traveled the world with Lou. She loved to travel and experience new things. She was strong and brave and could conquer anything. She lived her life to the fullest every day. I still think she is just some where around the world and I will see her the next family outing. Her funeral was so spiritual, I wanted to sit there all day just to feel her close and hear stories about her. I didn't want to let her go, I didn't want to finalize the realty that she was gone. Before she passed away I was looking for a 5k
to sign up for to keep me motivated to exercise. That is when I found the Susan Komen breast cancer run. Knowing breast cancer is linked to ovarian cancer, I decided to run it for her. I was going to make a shirt and send her pictures. That day came and it was wonderful running it with my cousin. I called my mom to see if she thought Jeanna would see it, she said that she hadn't been very alert in awhile so she may never get to see the pictures, my heart broke. Then as I was still on the phone my grandma messaged me and said she would show Jeanna when she woke up. The next day she did and got to see the pictures and it made her smile. A week or two before she passed away I wanted so much to call her and talk to her one last time. I never got to because she couldn't talk to anyone on the phone cause she was so weak. I just had to trust that she knew what was in my heart and how much I loved her and all she meant to me. I only got to see her once after she was diagnosed and that was in February. I hadn't seen her in over 2 years and I am glad I got to see her one last time even if it was only for a couple days. When I walked in the door and saw her she hugged me close and told me she never wanted to be away from each for that long ever again. It's bittersweet to think of that because yes it will be longer then that till I see her again but in a way she will always be with me by my side in spirit.  There are so many things I wish I would have done more of before she died. I miss her so much words can't explain. No one will ever take her place. I will never forget her playing with my hair making it look silly and telling me how pretty it looked and just to keep it the way it was as we laughed together. I will try to think of her just on another adventure traveling the world and I will see her soon. I know that she will be such a help to me in my life. I often think of what her life could of been, if she had kids, what other travels would she have went on, where she would have settled to buy a home. I wish so much she got to experience more in life, but I know she lived her life to fullest for as long as she had. It's like she always knew she needed to live life more fully than most. If I am blessed with two daughters one of them will be named Jane Mae, similar to Jeanna Mae and I will raise her to be just like her. I love her so much and will always remember the good times we had.

Forever and always Jeanna, you will never be forgotten or just a memory!

"You will not get over the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same again. Nor should you be the same nor should you want to."