Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Day 22: My Aunt Cathy, a Generous Soul

I’m behind on my “Generous Souls!” In case you haven’t been paying attention, the “Blog-off” is my way of giving during our Indiegogo fundraiser. I’ve pledged to write a blog post a day (minimum 100 words) for each day of the campaign. Then I decided to take it a step further and write a “Generous Soul” post for each friend or member of my family who donates to the cause. (“The cause” is publishing a collection of essays by our Write On, Mamas)

I love doing the Generous Soul posts. (I think this one is my favorite.) It gives me a chance to reflect on a person in my life, why I love them, why they are awesome, what I’d like folks to know.

The only problem is that now that we’re three weeks into the campaign, I’m realizing that writing a (meaningful) blog post a day is not that easy. But I guess that’s the point. We write anyway. If I were exercising right now, I’d let myself off the hook. I’d tell myself to go to sleep. Tomorrow’s Garbage Truck Day. It’s a big day. I need to get some sleep.

But I made a commitment. And if I don’t push myself to make this campaign successful, how can I expect anyone else to?

So, as promised:

Today’s Generous Soul is my husband’s Aunt Cathy.

Like all the Generous Souls, there are so many great stories. There are the books that children get—holiday books, picture books, and most recently, beautiful Robert Sabuda pop-up books. There are the visits, such as for one of Matt’s surprise birthday parties. There’s the pasta salad she brings to the great annual Cousin-O-Rama family reunion.

My most treasured story about Aunt Cathy is not really a story at all. It’s just something she said to me at a very sad time. It was simple and elegant and honest. It acknowledged the inevitability of the situation; it acknowledged our grief. And it gave me something to say to others who might be in a similar place.

Can you see me? I’ve tucked away her words into a little satchel.

Someday during this great unfolding of life, our hearts will sag and you and I will feel empty and numb. I’ll open my satchel and cup my hands around Aunt Cathy’s sweet, solemn words. You’ll come close and I will show you what I have, as if I’ve let loose some fireflies on a late summer evening.

We probably won’t smile. It won’t be that kind of occasion. But now you’ll have some fireflies to show the next person who comes along.

Thank you, Aunt Cathy.

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