Tuesday, April 20, 2010

In loving memory of Kelly...

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It's been just over a week since my Aunt Kelly passed away very unexpectedly.

I have been having dreams almost nightly of her. Some of the dreams are about what actually happened and about the day she passed away. Some of the dreams are of us at a family event and I am talking to her. When I wake up from those, it takes me a minute to come to the realization that she is really not here anymore. It's almost like I feel the shock again for a moment, just as I felt when my mom called me sobbing, saying "She didn't make it". I can still hear the shock and pain in her voice. Those words keep replaying in my head.

Last Wednesday was the visitation, and the funeral was on Thursday. The visitation was amazing. There were so many people, and so many flowers sent. It was very apparent that Kelly was loved by many. The funeral was a beautiful service celebrating Kelly's life.

I had decided I wanted to make a memorial scrapbook album for Todd and Jaden like I did for my Grandpa's funeral. I printed a copy for Kelly's parents and her sister as well. And all of my family will be getting a copy too.

When I gave the book to Mary Ann, Kelly's mom, she cried and said "How did you know? How did you know I wanted to ask you to make this? I saw the one you did for your Grandpa, and I wanted to ask you to make one for Kelly". What an honor that she wanted to ask me to make a memorial album about her daughter. I hope they can find some sort of comfort in it.

One of the first memories I have of Kelly was when she and Todd were dating. I am only 7 years younger than Todd and Kelly, so growing up, Todd felt more like a cousin than an Uncle to me. I was always the annoying little cousin that "should be out playing in traffic" to Todd (don't worry...now that I am grown up we get along great). I remember him bringing Kelly to Grandma's house and they would be up in his bedroom and I would just "pop in" to say "hi! wanna hang out". Needless to say, they didn't think I was so funny, but I apparently did!

I will always remember going out to the farm in the summer with the kids. Kelly would bring Jaden out and the kids would all play while we sat outside or in the gazebo and talked. Grammy would make her famous grilled cheese and tomato soup because it was Kelly's favorite.

I will always remember the trip to the Clay county fair in Spencer Iowa. Grammy, me, Kinzie, Malichi, Todd, Kelly and Jaden went down for the day during one of our stays out on the farm. We took the kids on rides and spent the day walking around the fair. At some point, Kelly and I found a spot to sit and have a snack and had a really great conversation, just the 2 of us. A conversation I will remember forever.

Our family vacation up at the cabin won't be the same this year without Kelly. I remember last year making jokes about how Kelly would be reading a book and Todd would be glued to his US Weekly magazine...usually the roles are reversed! We would tease them about how Kelly didn't like to shop and Todd did, Kelly didn't care if there were curtains on the windows, but Todd wanted something frilly or lacy for window treatments. They truly were so cute together.

Todd and Jaden loved Kelly so much, and I can't imagine what they are going through right now. The days ahead are going to be hard as they grieve and as they try to find a new "normal".

Kelly, we loved you and miss you so much. Tell Grandpa I said "hi".

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2 comments:

Waconia MOPS said...

Well said Shannon! I love the book! I can't wait to see it more in person.

Jolyn said...

omg Shannon, that's amazing!