Lil' dude, your Auntie L. and her family are heading East today- destined for their new life. It meant I had to say goodbye to her, in the parking lot of Caribou Coffee, tears streaming down my face in the wind storm.
Be brave I whispered, to her, and me.
These words will sound familiar; they were written behind Auntie L.'s name in my wedding program where she stood by my side as a bridesmaid.
L. was my first official friend in town and definite security blanket. I knew I immediately wanted (and needed) to be her friend thanks to her outrageous sense of humor, huge smile, and infectious personality. We instantly realized how many similarities we share. She is an absolute believer in love and the total pursuit of happiness, and she was invaluable to me when I was trying to figure out both. She taught me how to really listen to a song, grow strong houseplants, and laugh like there's no tomorrow. Being the last person I lived with in my single years, L. will always be someone I cherish for going through that transition with me so unselfishly.
We grew up together, I met her when I was 20. The last season of my childhood. We grew up together and had babies. I remember asking her late one night, when I was 6 months pregnant, can I take Benadryl? My allergies were out of control and I hadn't slept well in days. Auntie L. saved me, told me to take the pill and go to sleep. She's saved me more than once.
And you want to know a secret? Mama loves? That came from her too. I heard her whisper it to her daughter A. when she was about 2 months old. That girl is almost 4 now.
So, L.? Mama loves. I'll miss you, but never goodbye.