It’s my 59th birthday. This is one of three photos I took tonight of the full moon overlooking the Sea of Cortez in Cabo San Lucas. Can you see Jeanne and Terri dancing across the sky? Aunty Cole and I certainly did.
What a day it’s been. What a week. My daughter Jamie, Miss M and I arrived in Cabo to visit Aunty Cole and Mr. Ed five days ago. It’s our second year in a row rendevouzing with Aunty Cole for April vacation. It just so happens my birthday falls during vacation, so one of my greatest gifts has been traveling around the world to deliver her goddaughter to Aunty Cole. Miss M and Aunty Cole are the two people in the whole wide world who most help me make sense of a physical world without Terri. They truly embody the essence that is/was my beloved niece.
And let me tell you, Terri (and Jeanne’s) energy were fully present tonight…
In the stories. In the scrumptious food. In the magical twinkling lights sprinkled amongst the open air restaurant Aunty Cole chose for dinner. In the pink party balloon Miss M tied to my chair. In the live music that awaited us when we returned to our resort. In the graceful and rhythmic movement that emerged from our bodies on the dance floor we created.
All of these gifts; of love, of connection, of remembrance, of celebration, of sorrow… These are the gifts that keep on giving from Terri…
And they are embodied in her open hearted, bodhisattva daughter, Miss M.
Our first night in Aunty Cole and Mr. Ed’s magnificent Cabo home, Miss M very reluctantly entered the shower.
“I don’t like showers,” she wrote on the steam covered glass.
“I know,” I answered through the glass.
“I like baths,” she continued writing.
“You can take one in Aunty Cole’s huge whirlpool bath tomorrow.”
“Are you Aunty Cole’s sister?” she asked.
“No, Aunty Cole was Mamãe’s best friend. She’s a gift to me from Mamãe. Mamãe has given me so many gifts. If it weren’t for Mamãe I never would have met Aunty Cole. But the best gift Mamãe ever gave me, other than being my niece, was you, Marisa.”
She stood there soaking that in for a moment, then wrote, ” You are the best Aunty,” and drew a heart at the end of her sentence.
Tears rolled down my cheeks.
“Thank you, Marisa. You are the best niece…”
The next night as we primped for our last dinner with Mr. Ed, she ran into my bedroom, bursting with excitement.
“Love emergency! Love emergency! I just left a note for Aunty Cole!!”
“What did it say??”
Thank you Terri, for the gift that is your daughter. Her being is love in it’s purest essence. Just as yours was.
I miss you every single day. Your laugh. Your joy. Your passionate zest for life. For loving. For giving.
So thank you Terri, for the gift that is/was and always will be, you…
Love, Aunty Laurie