My dear niece, Kelly Richards, succumbed to cancer last Fall. I wrote a blog about her valiant struggle but did not have the heart to post a follow-up once she had lost the battle. https://rixlibris.com/2015/06/18/cancer-is-complicated-who-knew/
Christmas, the first without Kelly, came and went and now it’s time to celebrate the first Easter since she left us. That said, this post is not about the sorrow of loss but, rather it is about a book, a very special book.
First a bit of background. In the words of Kelly’s mother, my sister, “Kelly was born in this house, in my bed. Except for a brief time after school she lived her entire life centered in this house. When she married she and her husband made this their home and eliminated any possibility of me having to grow old alone. She raised her son in this house and produced a fine, strong, moral young man. When the cancer claimed her life she passed away in this house, in my bed.”
When Kelly’s son Jeremy was a small boy she would, as mother’s often do, read him bedtime stories. They had this favorite book, “Love You Forever,” which they would share more than any other.
Now for a slight digression. Each major holiday my sister will send a box of “goodies” to her “Southern Belles,” her great-nieces in Texas. Something special was included in this year’s Easter box, a copy of Kelly and Jeremy’s book along with a very poignant story.
As I said above, this was mother and son’s favorite book. Through it Kelly was able to provide joy, entertainment and comfort to her growing child. My sister told me that when Kelly was in her final days and hours Jeremy retrieved the book and, sitting at his mother’s bedside, read the story to her. A full circle of sorts.
Last night my wife read the story to the twins, the beginning of a new tradition.
Kelly will be missed but never forgotten. She will remain in our hearts and in our thoughts. And I am confident, beyond mere certainty, that wherever her spirit might be, she will not forget those who loved her.
God bless you, niece Kelly.
Uncle Rick, Aunt Ruth, cousins Michael, Lisa, Valora and Joseph.