my heart can now share this. one year ago on st. patrick's day (another holiday made extra memorable for us), my great aunt betty joined all the rest of our family's now heavenly beings. three days later, i was by the sea with softly fading roses, celebrating spring & capturing images so the beauty of these blooms would continue on. and i thought of my aunt, & would like to honor her memory with this sunwashed seaside rose. she was the aunt i best remembered from childhood, as she lived in the same small town as my grandparents. i have happy memories of her face lighting up when we'd see her while there visiting ... when family thanksgiving meals were enjoyed at the big table in the tiny dining room of my granny & pawpaw's cottage ... & when merry christmas hugs & wishes were exchanged. i will also never forget that my little brother & i were with her & our great uncle when we found out our beloved pawpaw had passed from ALS, & how genuinely heartbroken she was when she saw what that news did to us. 💔 and many years later, while in town for my brother's funeral, so much of which is a daze now, i definitely remember, even through the stunned, grief-stricken fog i was in, how her face absolutely beamed when she saw me again after it had been so long, & i felt so loved by her in that moment. there is more sadness surrounding her loss than i will detail here, as there is some family disconnect that unfortunately & so unnecessarily exists, which mama & i simply have never been able to wrap our minds & hearts around, since we're just all about love. and honesty & honorability. families aren't perfect, but i am so grateful for the happy memories & loving moments that were shared with my aunt, & we find great comfort in the belief that she knows & understands the truth of everything now, & how much we've always loved & cared about her. above all, she is at complete peace, & reunited with her siblings, her husband, & multiple other loved ones. friends, we have lost so very many, but my, what a joyous reunion it must be up there by now! bless your soul as you rest forever in peace & light, dear aunt betty. we love you & keep you in our hearts.