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Yesterday was a bittersweet day for me.  It was my Mom’s first birthday in heaven.  I wasn’t really emotional about that per se, but I did realize it.   My dear Aunt Jane had decided to get a group of us together (some of her nieces) for a brunch, and her house was located in a town with A LOT of memories for me.  It is a beautiful college town where both of my parents worked my entire childhood (and part of my adulthood) and it is where the panic attacks started for me when I was around 18 years old.

I was pretty much happy, chatting on the phone with my friend when the conversation became heavy.  She was sharing her heart which began to stir my well guarded emotions.  I intentionally didn’t want to think about any pain in my life since I was headed to a HAPPY occasion at my Aunt’s house.   But as I entered this town and began to reminisce I felt the cap of the well chip away and the water of emotions trickled out.  I told my friend, “Oh no, don’t make me cry” as she started to pray for me.  As fate would have it, by the time I was driving past my father’s place of employment (which still looks EXACTLY like it did all of those years ago) I was crying a river of tears.   I also cried through the spot where those panic attacks started when I was a young woman.

What is it with me and this town?

I finally got myself together, but isn’t it something how mercy in another can pull pain out?

I was at a worship center the other night and the same thing happened.  The mercy in a woman’s eyes pulled on my heart and the tears began to flow.

Here is a picture that my Aunt gave me yesterday.  It was taken of me with my parents when I was somewhere close to the age of my little girl.

sweetparents

Yesterday wasn’t all about tears.  There were some sweet moments and I loved the comfort of being with people I have known my entire life.

Before we ate lunch together and after the blessing, we all held hands and sang, “Blessed Be the Tie that Binds.”   How precious!  That made me want to weep too, but I was able to shut off the waterworks at that point.  Do you know the lyrics to this sweet song?   Thankfully we only sang this one verse:  Blest be the tie that binds, Our hearts in Christian love;  The fellowship of kindred minds, Is like to that above.

After that I sat next to the cousin I grew up with, Jane.  She is two years older than me and was the one I always played with when her family came to “the country” to see our grandparents.    Do you remember this photo that I have shared before?  This is me, my sister, and our cousin Jane at our grandparent’s 60th wedding anniversary party.

bethkathyjane

Jane hasn’t changed at all. She still looks the same.

Here is a picture of us from yesterday.  The crazy expression on my face was from us trying to smile with just our eyes.  I couldn’t do it apparently.  Our cousin Sarah came up with that idea when we were taking group pictures.   The bags under my eyes are proof of the river of tears that flowed before I arrived.

bethandjane

I blurred this next picture because I certainly don’t have everyone’s permission to share their faces on my blog (ha).  And I didn’t ask Jane either, but hopefully she won’t mind.   Here is a group shot that my uncle took for us.   Aunt Jane is the lady sitting on the right side of the photo.

Honestly, none of these cousins got the “tall” gene from our grandfather’s side of the family.  I certainly did — AND my Mom was tall.  I think I even had my knees bent some in the photo.  Ha.

It was a sweet time with family.

family

It was wonderful to see everyone and I look forward to our next gathering!

Thanks for stopping by and walking through this grieving process with me.

Have a blessed day everyone!