Laura was a very intelligent, savvy, women. She always knew current events and the ways of the world. Her mind never stopped learning even though she was almost 70 years old. She had lost the love of her life over 20 years ago and raised her two girls alone. She opened her own business, sent her girls to college and paid for extravagant weddings, all on her own.
I think of the times that I would run into her in the store and she would be so warm and friendly, always asking after my family. She seemed so put together and had infectious smile that no matter what kind of mood I was in, would make me smile. Who knew that through the windows of her eyes there was way more to her life then I ever would have guessed.
The last time I say her, was a summer ago. We drove together to our mutual friends daughters baby shower. It was during that few hours in the car that I saw a crack in the life that I thought she was handling perfectly. She talked about her relationship with her daughters, that had tons of ups and downs. I saw something in her that I had not seen before, sadness. Since both her girls had moved to other states, miles and miles away, I asked her why she would not just sell her house and go live near one of them. She said she could never sell her house that there were way too many memories to leave. I remember telling her that her house was just a pile of concrete and wood, that memories were in your heart not in a thing. She said that she knew that but she could never leave it. It seemed like she could just not move forward in her life.
So around Christmas she started to decline, in body and in mind. She became physically and mentally depressed, although I think that she may have been depressed for years. She finally passed last week alone in her beloved house with all those memories.
Her death reminded me how I sometimes I feel stuck in my life. I am sure that we all do, but life offers so many challenges, heartbreaks, and happiness it needs to be embraced and conquered everyday whether its a good day or not so good one. We need to choose to go forward and learn from our mistakes along the way, keeping all those memories close to our hearts carrying them with us whatever or wherever we go.