I am grateful for "Aunt Annie." We are all so very grateful for her . . . .
The kids and I had a sleepover at Aunt Annie's apartment on Wednesday night. We spent the beautiful warm evening at a park nearby and then we ate gelato. Lot's of it.
I went to work the next morning, and Henry and Anna had Aunt Annie all to themselves for the whole day!
Annie is going into the Peace Corps. She is waiting for her placement any day now. (actually, any minute now). In about six weeks, she'll be leaving for 28 months . . . .
In all honesty, I couldn't be happier for her. Annie is pretty amazing and I am willing to let the world have her for a little while too. Annie will probably be placed in a science teacher position, maybe in Kenya. It's crazy to think that right now, there are kids on the other side of the world who don't know it yet, but they will love our Aunt Annie. That is pretty powerful stuff . . .
Plus, I understand why she is going . . . . Lately, Ray and I have been cleaning out bins (and bins) of old bills and papers and keepsakes. Just the other day, I ran across my Peace Corps application from 1989. I carried that blank application along with me for years. YEARS! I was always waiting for the right time to send it in . . . But I never did. Alaska was as far as I'd ever get.
Annie . . . well, she gets it. She knows that there is never a right time for anything. You just have to say yes to the opportunity, and then live your life. She is ready to do something like this - - something adventurous and life-changing. So, I completely support her. And I'm so proud of her for doing what I never could. I love her for being bold and courageous and alive.
So, with all of that said, we can't possibly be sad, can we . . . ??
My kids absolutely adore Aunt Annie. Adore her. No one else in this world holds a place in their hearts like she does. And I know the feeling is absolutely mutual. I know it when I see them all together. Three faces just light up . . .
When she is gone, I'll miss that look - - the look that Henry and Anna reserve only for Aunt Annie.
Really though, what more could I possibly ask for my kids? I know how much they are going to miss her. Hearts will break. But, Annie is giving them a great gift too. She is teaching them to make a difference in this world. She is showing them that they need to write their own stories. Live their own lives. Be bold and adventurous and live with BIG BIG love in their hearts.
These days with Aunt Annie are precious. These memories and pictures will need to last us a few years. During her 28 months away, we'll keep moving along here in Minnesota. Birthdays will be celebrated, teeth will be lost, school years will start and end, everyday joys and sadness will come and go . . . .
But the big stuff. The really important stuff . . . like who we are, and how much we love and adore one another - - Well, that won't change at all.