Saturday, October 23, 2010

Lessons I Learned From Amy

[The YouTube isn't working for me that I was trying to post, so I'm just going to do a link to Ingrid Michaelson performing Be OK.]

Yesterday, my sister-in-law Amy was laid to rest with her family, friends and loved ones looking on through their tears on a drizzly, raindrop strewn afternoon.  But on the way home, her youngest son spotted a rainbow.

As if to say we are all going to be ok.

Amy was the sister I never got to have.  As an only child, I'd always sort of wanted a sister to share things with -- experiences and concerns, though, not toys -- a sort of sister so long as I didn't have to actually share my stuff.  When I married my husband, Amy came with him as his brother's wife and we bounced off each other, as Forrest Gump would say, "like peas and carrots."

I loved her dearly.

Her smile was infectious, and her gentle, loving way with children was an inspiration to those of us who need to work on our patience skills.  I learned so much from her, even since her passing, and I wanted to share a few things with everyone else that seem so vitally important in the aftermath of her loss.

1)  Never go to bed without your spouse knowing how much you love them.  Losing Amy was really hard, but knowing that her husband had no doubt in his mind about how solid their love was?  Made it ever so slightly easier. 

2)  Who cares what size you wear, when everyone is really looking at how amazing your heart and mind are.

3)  On a trying day, when everything is getting on everyone's nerves?  Patience is always the right answer.  I need to work on that one.  A lot.

4)  When all else fails?  Try laughing out loud.  It makes everything better somehow.

5)  Then laugh again.  Because it will make everything better for everyone else, too.

6)  It helps if you find the humor in things.  Because frustration is not nearly as fun as humor can be.

7)  Nothing is permanent.  So you have to enjoy the heck out of life while you can, every chance you get.

8)  Fear holds you back from that.

9)  Make certain that your children never, ever doubt for a moment how much you love them. Amy's kids know how much their mother loved them -- she showed them her love every single day, in the little sacrifices she made on their behalf, in the hugs and pats she gave them every day, in the steady, loving support she gave them when they failed and when they succeeded -- she loved them all the same, and it was a lot. Those kids can now hold that love securely in their hearts as they move forward, and it is an enormous comfort.

10)  Love really is the answer to almost everything life throws in your path.  Cherish it.

11)  Go out and have an adventure.  And enjoy the heck out of it.

12)  And don't wait until someday to do it, either.


TeddyPartridge said...

Thank you, Christy, and thanks to Amy for sharing these lessons with you before she left us. Best wishes to her family, I hope they know how many lives she's touched today.

Hope this finds you well

Christy Hardin Smith said...

Hi Teddy -- We are still in AZ with family helping out. It's going to be a long road. But you know what? We're all going to keep on swimming, and we'll be ok. Now to find that elusive laughter...hugs to you and Patrick.

TeddyPartridge said...

Hope you remembered to cast some absentee ballots before you headed out from WV!

Great to 'hear your voice' Christy, love to all of yours there in AZ.

Suzanne said...

what a lovely tribute to your sister-in-law, christy. we need more love, laughter, and patience in our lives -- amy's lessons will live on in each of us who read what you so lovingly wrote about her. i'm so sorry for your loss.

Toni said...

Thank you Christy, that was beautiful. I look forward to getting to know you better. I hope we have that chance.

BTW, you should have spoken yesterday!

cheryl said...

Christy, I loved reading your post. My thoughts are with you and your family. Let's do Starbucks when you get back. Monday? Have a safe trip home. xoxo

Christy Hardin Smith said...

Toni, I just would have been standing there sobbing. I don't know how you did your portion without breaking down entirely. It's just been that kind of week, hasn't it?

It was lovely to finally meet you in person, too, and spend some time with you.

Christy Hardin Smith said...

Thanks, Cheryl -- we'll be home late, late, late on Thursday. Hoping I can get Fi in for the Halloween party at least on Friday. We'll see -- we're exhausted, and still helping with family between now and then. Wouldn't be anywhere else, though, ya know?

Alisa said...

Beautiful, Christy. Really. I'm glad the two of you were so close. She is an incredible example in all the ways you listed and more.