It's been a bad month . . .
Except it hasn't, it has been a month filled with friends and travel and abundance, but all of that has been overshadowed by the untimely death of a wonderful friend and family member, and I have allowed that to make everything else meaningless.
Pam, who family and friends are farewelling as I write this, would be the first to kick my butt for that. Though she would be much more likely to pour me a glass of great wine, show me her latest shoe purchase and laugh about the world with me first, over fabulous food.
Being away from home so often, I never spent enough time with Pam. I remember when I first met her, that I was amazed someone so smart and vibrant and alive had chosen my brother (apologies, Kevin, you always did attract class). At that time, she was running a bakery and my mother, a cook also, loved her and worked with her.
When Georgia was born, Mum watched over her with love so Pam could keep the business humming and I, even so far away, was regaled with how beautiful, smart and promising this child was.
And is . . .
Those few times I returned home, Pam was my home, more so than people I had known all my life. Totally accepting, always positive, nothing but good memories where I sometimes had bad.
It's a cliche, I know, to say someone has been taken too soon, or that he or she was a truly beautiful person, but none of those are cliches when it comes to Pam. She was taken too soon, for many more people than just me, and she was a truly beautiful soul.
Today I feel grateful for knowing her, and for her love of life, her sense of fun, her ability to see the light in the darkest times. And the best way to honor her is to try to make those qualities part of me.
I will carry her forever in my heart, and see her in my niece and family, and try to feel more blessed that we knew her than that we lost her.
She would not want to remembered with sadness, but with life.