On Saturday evening I got a call from my mom.
She wanted to let me know that my dad's youngest sister had passed away.
It didn't seem real.
Her name is Polly and she was not quite two years older than I am.
Suddenly, I am feeling very very mortal.
This is my Dad (sitting to the left in the suit jacket with the half smile because -- very seriously -- he does not know how to smile in a picture, but I love him anyway) and his parents and siblings. Polly is on the left end of the back row with the dark hair.
Polly was working with her family to put up Christmas lights on Saturday when she had a heart attack and passed away. I cannot imagine the depth of despair her little family must feel to have watched their wife and mother move so quickly from one life to the next. I like to think my Grammie (my vivacious great grandmother who died just before I got married) was there to meet her and show her the ropes as they now stride into the next chapter of living.
To be honest, I don't know my Dad's family as well as I should. Most of them live a couple of states away, but the times I have spent with them over the years are good memories. Since I was so close in age to Polly I remember playing with her the times that we were together growing up. I remember that she always seemed to be smiling and laughing; she just seemed to shine.
And that didn't change when she was all grown up (I wonder if she didn't really feel adult enough to be called a grown up like I do?). She married a sweet man and had a beautiful quartet of children that we saw occasionally, particularly when they spent some time living here in Utah.
This lady was a happy bit of life who wasn't afraid to let people know she loved them. Probably we should all be more like that.
I am aching for her husband. I am aching for her children. I am aching for her parents and siblings.
But I would bet that even though she is concerned about those she has left behind, wherever she is she is still smiling.
We love you, Polly, and we'll miss you. We all look forward to the day we can see you again.