Aunt Jo & Abundance

This weekend, my grandpa’s sister Jo passed away. To anyone who knew her, it’s no surprise that she’s been traveling the country and world as usual, and keeping quiet about her health. I’ve always felt a strong bond with Jo, and Charlie and I have been told that we were sort of like grandchildren to her. She gave me a miniature Shakespeare collection and a necklace that had been, I think, her mother’s. I wish I’d gotten out to Phoenix to visit; it’s been nearly 2 years since I’ve seen her.

Strangely, I’ve been thinking of Grandpa a lot this past week. His presence has been fresh on my mind, particularly in the evenings. Take meaning from that as you will. And while I’m not big on church, his memory always brings back the verse the pastor used at his memorial service:

I came that they might have life, and have it abundantly.

(John 10:10)

Incredibly fitting, and I think that Jo’s life was as abundant in her own way as Grandpa’s was in his. I’m saddened by her death, but these two are both a reminder to not let life pass by untasted. If some people have a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other, I would like Jo and Abe, sipping coctails and whispering “Do it! Are you crazy? Get out there!”


2 thoughts on “Aunt Jo & Abundance

  1. Love that last image. It reminds me of the last time I saw Jo — at Charlie’s graduation, I believe. We were at the hotel and she goes to the back of her car, opens the trunk and grabs a couple half full bottles of booze so that they can have cocktails in the room! (Why she was driving around with these in her trunk, I do not know.) She was always on the go and always seemed cheerful despite the tough times she had in her life.

  2. If any two people didn’t let “life pass by untasted”, it’s my dad and Aunt Jo – they were both so incredibly full of life. Jo had such a great spirit, despite all of the sadness in her life. Two wonderful and unique people, one whom I’ve missed every day for over four years now, and another I’ll miss from now on.

    When I was in high school my dad repeatedly told me “Keep your options open”, which is akin to your “get out there” comment and is something I always try to keep in mind. Admittedly, he said that specifically to remind me to consider small liberal arts colleges, knowing that I had my heart set on U of I since I was about eight. But I’ve been generous, and think of it in terms of always being open to new experiences. And he always said goodbye with “Keep the peace.” I keep that in mind too.

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