Donald Duck Has Died

In shutting off my alarm this morning I noticed a text from my mother. “She is gone.” The distance between Phoenix Arizona and Cambridge Idaho seemed so far as a kid. Being tied to a dairy farm did not allow us many trips that far from home. So the memories I have of my Aunt Heidi are few. She was the master of talking like Donald Duck and did it often. Since she loved Disney and pretty much everything about them she was proud of her Donald Duck talent. Also she was a very talented artist. Sometimes I wonder how different her life could have looked if different choices would have been made.
Three beautiful kids and 11 beautiful grandkids later she found herself fighting a long fight with Cancer. Our last assignment at Four Corners put us close enough to visit two times. The first a big family dinner out with Aunt Heidi, Heidi Marie and her husband and girls. We had so much fun chatting and catching up. The second visit was one on one. With Heidi Marie and her family at Disneyland and my family in Oregon/Honduras. We sat out on the back porch enjoying the heat and talking about life, Aunt Heidi talked about her childhood, about her siblings as children each individual (yes you too mom, you don’t know what all I learned either ;0). She talked and talked. Each pause in the conversation urged her on. I sat quietly and listened. You learn so much when you just listen. I can’t say I agree with everything that she said but it was a window into how she thought that I had never had a chance to see (hear as the case may be) before.
I am thankful for both of those visits. I knew in my head when I hugged her goodbye in July that I would never see her/hug her again in this life. I don’t think it has really sunk into my conscience. This years long battle with cancer is over she has no more pain and no more suffering. It sounds like the being together that occurred in and around her death was healing in and of itself for her family, but continued prayers for her children, grandchildren and parents would be appreciated. May they stay close and find strength in the relationships that they have with each other. May they turn to their creator in their time of need. May he hold them close in his arms as we head straight into the holiday season when she will surely be missed.

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