Yesterday was one of those days that reminded me to be thankful and grateful. I realize these are such common words. But, every once in a while it takes a certain date to hit you upside the head like the ever famous 2x4 to really make you feel those words on the deepest level.

June 8, 2015 is the day my friend Leslie lost her fight with Cancer. Watching that battle will forever be etched in my memory. If you have not walked down that path yet, trust me that it is filled with agony and pain to see someone disappear before your eyes. To watch her husband and children lose the powerhouse of a woman that she was to all of them is imprinted in my heart. So when this day came around this year I wanted to push it away. I wanted to ignore that it held something in history.

To pretend was not my option. Her three children had to know we were still holding their mother’s memory in our heart. Nothing worse than when you start to forget pieces of that person you have lost. So all I knew to do was gather flowers that were Leslie’s favorite colors. I went straight to the nursery after work and said I need red and pink anything. The store was closing in five minutes so we made quick decisions. My friend Trudy met me and we headed over to Leslie’s house. We snuck in the side gate put on our garden gloves and started planting. When you sit in her kitchen or den, you look out into her backyard. That is where I wanted to put something bright and cheery. I wanted there to be something that brought color into that dreaded day of June 8th.

The act of planting is so therapeutic. Pulling weeds, digging, watering – all of it the most basic simple acts of love. John, Leslie’s husband, comes walking out to greet us as we are almost finished planting our last red bloom, “You want a glass of wine?” Now, if there is one thing I know, Leslie would have been very disappointed if we came to her house, were in her backyard and did not enjoy a glass of wine on her porch.

So, we packed up our shovels and gloves and sat on the porch to visit with John. Just sitting there feeling the breeze on our cheeks as we all felt the spirit of Leslie washing over us.

Sometimes, we can keep loving someone even when they are gone.

Flowers, friends and wine.

Love never ends...we just have to take the time to hold the space and remember those that we love.

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