Sarah’s Smile

Sarah was born on January 14 in Houston,TX. When she was 3 months old the family moved to Corpus Christi but I stayed in Houston for a while longer to tie up some loose ends. Her first words came one weekend when I met her, her  mother and older sister at the IKEA on I-10. I was inside the store and waiting by the registers and when they walked in, she was the first of the three to see me. She yelled out her first word, “Da-Da.” My heart melted. All three of my children have special qualities and they are all wonderful in their own little ways.

I wanted to share about Sarah’s qualities. If you read my last post, you know my Aunt Rose passed away on January 14. This was Sarah’s birthday and understandably, we were distracted from the focus we typically would have had on her because of the loss. Either way, we were able to treat her and her friend to dinner the night before.

Sarah’s in the process of working on several art projects that she is going to enter in an art show in February. The other day, my 16 year old daughter picked me up from work. I don’t know what we were talking about that brought up Sarah but we both began commenting on how Sarah is such a free spirit and a true Bohemian. Allie said that there are kids that try to be “hip” but Sarah is just “hip” because that’s who she is.

Sarah is definitely an artist but she’s also an athlete. She is a killer on the tennis court. Her mind works unlike any I’ve ever seen. She gets distracted by the next best idea and all of her ideas are good. She’s smart. She’s aggressive because she’s a winner and she craves winning. She says she wants to be a cook and an artist. She says she wants to travel the world and I know she will. She’s fearless and when she sets a goal for herself, she goes after it and there’s nothing that can stop her. Her mother describes her as her rainbow because she is all colors. When she gets upset or sad, everyone knows it. When she is happy, she lights up the world around her in every direction.

Sarah’s creative mind is always at work. The best thing about her is that she has a heart of gold. She doesn’t always show that heart to her brother and sister but it’s there. Yesterday, she told me that she and her best friend were going to start a project to raise money for a restaurant that feeds the homeless. It’s a giant project but I know she will set her goal and it will become a reality. That heart of gold is the same reason that she loves every animal she sees. She volunteered to take care of the dogs and cats that were being adopted and she treats her own dog (Lulu) like a princess. When her Lulu’s sister got sick and passed, Sarah’s heart broke and since that time, Lulu has slept in her bed and has been comforted and is the happiest dog I’ve ever seen.

Sarah is strong but sensitive. She is all over the place and focused at the same time. Her passion for art and the other things she loves ensures that she is going to be successful. I always told her that I don’t care if she’s rich when she gets older but that she spends her life doing what she loves and I know this will be her reality. She is a natural beauty with piercing dark eyes and a heart of gold. She’s my angel. Whenever I look at her, I see the little girl that lights up everything around her. Dad loves you Sarah.

A Beautiful Rose

My Aunt Rose passed away today. It was a long day for everyone in the family. The phone rang shortly after midnight and it was my sister letting us know that Aunt Rose was taken to the hospital. I was going to stay in bed but I decided to get up and get dressed, thinking that I should go just in case, but really feeling that it was going to turn out to be nothing serious. As I walked up to the emergency room entrance, and saw the look on my sister’s face, I knew it was more serious than I initially thought. Within an hour, the doctor came in and told us that she was gone.

I grew up around my Aunt Rose. She was like a third parent more than an Aunt when we were kids.  She rarely got onto us but if she needed to, nothing stopped her and we listened to her and she loved us and we loved her. I’m sure all the family members have things they remember about my aunt but there are some very distinct things I remember about her. She collected owls and in her small home in West Texas, there were owls of every sort. As a kid, it was easy to get her Christmas and birthday gifts because I knew all I had to do was look for something with an owl. My aunt always had a gift with painting and being artistic. She was always working on some sort of project and i’m sure that most all of us have something she made displayed somewhere in our homes. James Taylor was one of her favorite music artists. I made a James Taylor CD for her several years ago and as a child, I remember sitting on her living room floor listening to her records. She called me Dave. She called my brother Rob, and I laugh a little now that I’m thinking about it because she called my sister Mouthy (Her name’s Martha). We used to ride our bikes to her house when we were bored and there was always something to do there. In reality, there wasn’t really much to do there, except visit Aunt Rose and hang around while she worked on whatever she was working on and she would allow us to take part in whatever she was doing.

This morning after about 4 and a half hours of sleep, I went to my dad’s and met up with my sister. Aunt Rose had just gotten settled into a small apartment behind my dad’s house after spending the last couple years taking care of her older sister who has Alzheimers. My aunt’s art and craft supplies were organized neatly throughout the apartment. My aunt had not been there very long but the first thing my sister said (with tears in her eyes), and just before I was able to say it, was “It smells like Aunt Rose in here.” It smelled just like her home in Andrews. It’s hard to describe. Maybe it was the art supplies, the quilts, the books, the perfume, the make-up, but most likely, just a combination of all the things that made up my Aunt Rose.

I’ll miss my Aunt Rose but I’m sure it won’t be anything compared to how her brothers and sisters miss her. The hardest part when losing an aunt or uncle is having to see the sadness that everyone else is having to deal with after losing a sibling. When my sister and I were in my aunt’s apartment I noticed a small picture of my grandmother and my Aunt Cuca. My grandmother passed away in 1991 and my Aunt Rose took care of my Aunt Cuca for the last couple years. My grandmother and aunt would go to San Benito to my Aunt Sylvia’s home in the valley to have huge garage sales. It’s what they loved to do in the same way that my Aunt Rose loved her arts and crafts. I made a quick trip to Walgreens to make copies of that photo for the Aunts and Uncles that didn’t have one. I thought of my grandmother as we sat in the Emergency Room waiting on the medical examiner, all I could think about was what a good time my Aunt Rose was having updating my grandmother on all the things she missed out on in the last 20 years and how my grandmother is enjoying her Beautiful Rose.