She was one of my "Top 5". I can't rank those people, but I know exactly who they are. You know, those people who are with you to celebrate your highest moments, who will also stand tall beside you and maybe even stand behind you, pushing, when things get really tough.
On May 12th, 2011, my Aunt Lynne went to be with our maker, only a few months after being diagnosed with cancer. She fought as hard as she possibly could, but the cancer was so aggressive and complications ensued. And that was it. She was gone.
I knew when I got the call that I should go to my native Maryland to see her that things were touch and go. I was expecting when I traveled out to see her and with it being such a high-risk pregnancy, I knew that I probably wouldn't be able to attend the funeral. I was fortunate that we both had a window of health that allowed us to have a wonderful visit.
That was the last time I saw her. My window of safe traveling conditions passed and I was heartbroken to lose her and heartbroken that I couldn't be with my family to say goodbye.
Our baby boy arrived the next month and by some great miracle, and I believe, with Aunt Lynne and so many other loved ones watching over us from heaven, he was healthy.
When my little family traveled east at Christmastime, I stood at her grave. I stared at that stone. Numb. I knew she wasn't there, but still I felt no closure. It took me this long to come to terms with things. They say time heals all wounds, but that isn't what has gotten me through the times when I sat staring at the phone, wishing for one last conversation or opened our holiday decorations only to find they were mostly gifts from her and I broke down and cried, alone in the garage. I say that on His time, God heals all wounds. A good friend once told me to find a way to praise God in even the most difficult circumstances.
So here I am, doing my best to follow the instructions in 1 Thessalonians 5:16, "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
God was so good to give us Aunt Lynne for every last minute we had her on this earth.
So many people have said such beautiful things about Aunt Lynne and I am grateful that they have shared their memories and encouragement with me, but today, in honor of the first anniversary of her passing and in celebration of Mother's Day, here is my personal message to Aunt Lynne and all who loved her.
|Among the many hearts she was a piece of, Aunt Lynne was a devoted wife, mother...|
|...sister in law, aunt...|
|My Great-great-grandfather, August Bedgar, 1857-1945|
|My Great-great-grandmother, Anna Henrietta Marburger Bedgar, 1868-1940.|
|Aunt Lynne loved simple things, like Crocs...|
|...and sweatshirts. She and I had our "tomboyish" nature in common.|
|...to the funniest gag gifts :) Her gifts are treasures and they're scattered in every room in our home and in every tub of every size of baby/kid clothes. If it weren't for Aunt Lynne, our Christmas tree would be almost bare.|
|In her travels to England, she got hooked on Christmas crackers, and because of her, they became a tradition in our family.|
|It just isn't a Bedgar family Christmas without those goofy paper hats! :)|
|We had a common bond in our love for animals and agriculture. |
Of course, we had to stop and visit "Salem Sue" in New Salem, ND.
She could be tough as nails and could work just as hard as any man I know.
|She and my Aunt and cousin even made my wedding cake!|
|Somehow, they got it there in one piece! I don't know who drove it to the reception, but if it was Aunt Lynne, that cake had one wild ride :)|
|Aunt Lynne loved Jeremy and I and she loved our children, without conditions, but I think she took a little extra pride in our youngest daughter having red hair like hers :)|