I have so many fond memories of spending time with Phyllis. She and I loved gardening and spent many many hours trimming azaleas, planting annuals, and spreading mulch. We watched sappy Christmas movies, cooked many a meal, wrapped so many gifts, did plenty of shopping, looked through all her beautiful scrap books, and ate way too much dessert. I see her in each of my children, in the way they walk, in some of the faces they make, and in the way they love being outside. I hear her whisper to me about separating the darks and the whites when I'm doing laundry. I feel her calming hand on my shoulder when Annabel won't sleep and I'm getting frustrated. I dream about her coming back - walking into a room like she never even left. I miss spending weekends at her beautiful home, cooking dinner together but really looking forward to the brownies that were also in the oven with the chicken and rolls, and sitting around in the living room in the evenings with her and Will and his brothers, reading books, playing games, watching Redskins football or White Sox baseball. I miss the way she brought us all together.
And so now we gather without her, far too infrequently, each of us knowing that something's missing but nobody saying it aloud. My faith assures me that we'll see her again, but that doesn't stop the sadness and anger from sneaking in when I least expect it, even a few years later. I'm thankful that we gather. I'm thankful that we walk. I'm thankful that we pause to reflect and remember.
<3 <3 <3