Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Janie Sullivan - You Will Be Missed

I met my Aunt Janie at a picnic when I was thirty years old. Kind of odd to meet your father's sister for the first time when you are both adults with families of your own. But not so odd when you are adopted and your birth father's family plans a Welcome to the Clan Picnic by the lake. I met them all that day...Aunt Janie, Aunt Ginger, Uncle Leo, Uncle Tommy and my little brother Casey. They welcomed me in the only way the Leonard's know how..with lots of food and lots of hugs.

Janie stayed by my side all afternoon. She stroked my back and touched my hair, almost as she were convincing herself that I was real. It's understandable since a few months before none of them knew I existed. I was a secret carried inside their big brother's heart.

My Aunt always took time out of her life to call me just to say hello. I got used to her perpetual excitement and quick way of talking. She could say more in five minutes than most people could cram into fifteen. (I'm alot like her) I loved her wit and the instant way she'd dissolve into laughter.

I saw her this past summer when I went to Georgia after my brother Casey's horrible accident. We spent time together at the hospital, clinging to the hope that Casey would soon be better. I went to her home and shared a glass of "oh so sugary sweet tea". We dreamed of her hopping a plane to come see me and "doing the town up right, girl!"

I wish I'd had an inkling that this would be the last time I'd see her. I would have taken more pictures, hugged her a little tighter, and made sure I said "I love you" one more time before we ducked out the door in the rain. And even so, I'm happy she got to hold Ethan, she met my husband Todd (of whom I'm incredibly proud), and I got a few snapshots that will last a lifetime.

Janie died suddenly yesterday. My family is in shock at her passing. "Not my baby sister," my father said, but it's true. My thoughts are with my father and my Augusta, GA family. I wish I could be there with you. I'm there in my heart. I love you Aunt Janie..until we meet again.

16 comments:

Mr. Grudge said...

Lisa,
Please accept my most sincere and my deepest condolences for the loss of your dear Aunt Janie. Your words are moving and sweet, and your love for her obvious to anyone who reads them. My prayers go out to you and your family as you mourn for her. Be strong. ---Mike Kannengieser

Lisa McGlaun said...

Mike,

Thank you..what started out as a happy day took a sad turn this morning. I already miss her. I can hear her voice in my head.

Peace,
Lisa

Anna said...

Lisa, my deepest and sincere condolences. This is very beautifully written - and even she is gone, I bet she is reading it, and she is happy. Sorry to hear that again, Anna :)

Lisa McGlaun said...

Anna,

I believe she can still hear me. Thank you for your kind words. They mean alot.

Best Wishes,
Lisa

The Uneasy Supplicant said...

Lisa.
I'm really sorry. There's no real words that I can say that would take away your pain or bring your Aunt Janie back. Just know you and your family are not alone in your mourning.
~JD

Lisa McGlaun said...

JD,

Thank you. Her funeral is Friday. It's been said around my house.

Peace,
Lisa

Danny said...

Lisa, I'm so sorry to hear this sad news. I believe that our loved ones are always with us. Keep strong & Carry-on. Danny

franscud said...

Lisa,

I just wanted to add my voice to all the others offering condolences. It's a little weird for me to experience sadness in such a physically disconnected way, but that's the wonders of the Internet Age.

Your post was a great tribute to your aunt, and made the loss real for all of us. I definitely will be thinking of you and your family.

Moonshadow said...

What a beautiful tribute. I am deeply touched by your heartfelt expression of loss. May angel wings envelope you and give you gentle support in your time of mourning.

Lisa McGlaun said...

Danny,

Thanks for letting me know how you feel. At times like this it's so good to be surrounded by the positive thoughts of others.

Hugs,
Lisa

Lisa McGlaun said...

Francis,

I consider you a friend, even if the friendship is internet born. I know what you mean, this way of being involved in the lives of others can be very strange and disconnected from anything we've ever known before.

Thanks for the friendship (in all its forms),
Lisa

Lisa McGlaun said...

Moon,

Thank you for stopping by to leave your thoughts. I appreciated it so much.

Sincerely,
Lisa

thewishfulwriter said...

Lisa: oh my gosh. I just read this post after getting your message on blog catalog.

I am so sorry - losing a cherished family member is always difficult, but it's magnified when it's completely unexpected.

I am so happy you had a chance to get to know her - and she had a chance to get to know you and your amazing family.

I am a big believer that she is still with you guys - hovering, making sure you are taken care of.

I'm thinking about you and your family.

big love, H

Lisa McGlaun said...

Heather,

Thanks. Today was her funeral. It's been tough but tougher on my father. He was the oldest, she was the youngest. Janie was more like his child than a sister. But we are a tough lot and will handle it fine.

I share your views on loved ones after death and I find that conforting.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Hugs,
Lisa

Moonbeam McQueen said...

What a sad and beautiful post. I'm so sorry about your aunt, and at the same time, so glad that you got to know her. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Lisa McGlaun said...

Moon,

Thanks for your thoughts. Sometimes I think the miracle is that I know my birth family at all. I'm so glad to have them in my life...I have not just one family but two. I'm a lucky woman.

Peace,
Lisa