I’ve been rereading my journal from our Ireland trip and I’ve found one recurring theme throughout. It seemed like every day I wrote “we opted out of xxxx and just wandered around on our own”. I think that explains why my memories don’t include museums, and instead focus on tea shops and park benches. At every chance we got, Auntie Vera and I got away from the tour and enjoyed a cup of tea.
I’m really glad we did because tourist attractions are rather stale sometimes, and because it makes for better memories now. Like the time we had to dash for the bus (and Auntie Vera could run fast for a 78 year old) because we’d nipped out for a cup of tea from a takeaway and the bus was about to leave without us. Auntie Vera didn’t believe that we have to walk through life doing everything the proscribed way. She was a great adventurer and travelled alone through Ireland in 1991. Along with a strong sense of family, she was also an independent soul and her example kept me strong when I was recently single four years ago.
We all have the capabilities for happiness within ourselves, and life should be full of laughter as often as possible. It’s been over two weeks since she died and while the memories of her are still strong, it’s time for me to start living in the present and creating new memories to laugh about. This extended eulogy has helped me so much, but has also reminded me that she always lived in the present. I’m off to Edmonton tomorrow for a conference (and to visit with Treefen – I’m very excited about that AND to meet my dad’s cousins and my great-uncle who I’ve never met before) and I’m hoping I’ll have some new great stories to tell when I get home.
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