I received a tweet from my BFF Lyteyz showcasing her loot from the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. I am not ashamed to admit the large green-eyed monster of jealousy reared its ugly head- all that alpaca could have been mine!! Where are my nunchuks?!? After I finished foaming at the mouth, I was filled with nostalgia- Lyteyz, my sister and I had a great time last year and, even though I would love to attend the Festival again this year, I would much rather spend time with them, no matter where we may be.
It’s really amazing how quickly a year goes by. One moment you’re hauling your 7 month pregnant body up and down a fair grounds, adjusting your belly support band and ignoring your cankles as you waddle by the vendors again and again in a hormone and wool-fume induced shopping frenzy; the next moment you are filling your days playing with the babe once in your womb and trying and trying and trying to teach him to say, “AL-PAC-A” as you untangle him from the wooly goodness strewn across the floor.
As I look back, I also remember some not so great memories from the previous two Mays. It’s actually taken me this long to be able to face these memories and I was shocked to realize that they all occurred in the same week, though a year apart.
Last year, a week after the fun and laughter of the MDSW, I lost two important people in my life. One was my uncle- my mother’s brother- who died very suddenly and unexpectedly. He was the baby of the family (last of 13) and his death rocked our family. Two days later, I received news that one of my coworkers- and the person I’d consider my mentor as a nutrition professional- had lost her decade long battle with breast cancer. She had gone on leave in November when she found out her cancer had returned and six months later, she was gone. (Cathy was also a knitter and had spent that summer making her daughter’s wedding shrug for her October wedding- something I’m sure her daughter will treasure forever.)
As I mark one year of their passing, I’m also facing the two year mark of the passing of another uncle- my dad’s brother, the first of two he lost that year. Remember when I said 2010 was a terrible year? Losing them was part of that terribleness.
Although the last two Mays have not been the happiest in my life, I’m hopeful that this May will bring laughter and love and good memories with it. It’s the first May I get to spend with Little Mister, the first May where I’ll get to celebrate Mother’s Day as a mother, and, as always, it marks another year that My Mister and I got married all those moons ago.
As I mourn my loved ones next week, I hold tight to the ones I still have with me. If anything, that’s the main thing the month of May has taught me: Hold tight and love your loved ones as much as you can because life is unpredictable and sometimes much, much too short. When looking back on my life and reminiscing about my loved ones, I hope I'll be able to say, “Oh, remember when!” rather than, “Oh, if only I had.”
In remembrance of Uncles Charlie, Mingo and Joseph and dear friend Cathy.