My aunt Kathy was one of my favorite people. She loved to laugh, play sports, and cook for us kids. She also often hosted the family holiday parties throughout the year. When she died a few years ago from an aggressive cancer, we all were devastated. Remembering Kathy has been important to all of us.
After the funeral there was the sad task of going through her things and making decisions. My cousins Darrin and Tracy made the majority of choices, as was appropriate. Then we got to the collection of owls. Kathy let it be known at one time that she liked owls, so whenever anyone gave her a gift, it was usually owl oriented. Owls everywhere, brick a brac, calendars, macramé pot holders, salt & pepper shakers, etc. Much of it was being thrown away, but family members were invited to take an owl or two, having a bit of Kathy’s memory to take away with them.
My eyes landed on the cookie jar. This cookie jar was in the shape of an owl (naturally), and it was cracked and glued back together. My cousin was getting ready to throw it in the trash can as I protested and laid claim to this precious treasure. When asked why I wanted this piece, the tears began to flow.
Aunt Kathy showed her love is so many ways that were not the typical “I love you” gestures. She remembered your favorite game, or sports team. She remembered my favorite meal (tacos). And she wanted everyone who came to visit to feel comfortable and well cared for. She always had a stocked refrigerator with food and drinks, and she always had cookies.
Not once, in my entire life from little kid on through adulthood did I ever open that jar and find it empty. This little noticed gesture of always having a special treat to be surprised by, is my defining memory of Kathy’s love. Sometimes chocolate chip, or peanut butter, snickerdoodle, or cream filled. However, my favorite was the lady fingers! Imagine the smile on my face every time I took the lid off to see what was inside.
Today, that cookie jar sits on my counter and is always filled with cookies. I don’t eat many, just a quick snack once in a while, but the love is still there. How many little gestures are present in your life by the people in your world? Can you notice them?
Kathy, you will never be forgotten. You taught me that Thriving is sometimes in the smallest deeds. Love you. Miss you.