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ashley, i remember you.

January 1, 2013

it is january 1, 2013.

a bright and sunny day begins the new year,

made all the more radiant by the sun’s reflection off of snow.

as the sun rose this morning,

i remembered ashley.

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it seems to me that the greatest fear we have in the loss of someone we love

is that as life moves forward memories fade into the background.

to some extent that is inevitable,

necessary even if we are to live healthy and meaningful lives,

and yet that does not mean that we forget.

quite the contrary–

once the sudden and stabbing pain of loss subsides

memories soften to the point that we can remember with joy

those things that keep loved ones alive forever.

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all of us walk an invisible timeline.

we don’t remember its beginning,

and cannot with certainty predict its end.

between those two points we live a life,

hopefully one that is touched in many ways by remarkable people.

ashley touched my life.

when i returned from her memorial service last april

one of the first things i did was write in my journal

a list of things that i had learned from ashley’s life and her passing.

today it feels important to share these things:

*  take time to disengage from the busy*ness of life periodically

and reflect upon the things that truly matter.

the greatest of these is love.

(taken from her speech as salutatorian at her bitburg high school graduation.)

*  be open:  open to people, places, ideas, travel, experiences.

drink deeply of life.

embrace what it offers you.

*  have no pretensions.

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*  love your family

and take comfort in the sense of belonging.

*  business agreements are to be paid back.  

acts of love and kindness are to be paid forward.

*  take advantage of every opportunity to love others

and deepen connections.

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*  tomorrows are numbered.

live big today.

*  be beautiful…  on the inside.

*  it’s the quality, not the quantity, that matters.

*  be generous.

*  seek and reflect beauty.

*  be real.

*  loving relationships are forever.

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ashley julia sandau, you made a difference.

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and i remember.

xx

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 2, 2013 3:55 am

    i’m grabbing all these words, all these feelings, and i’m carrying them in my heartpocket, going forward….

    • sassysistersink permalink*
      January 2, 2013 1:38 pm

      me, too.
      xx

  2. Mary Liz Harte permalink
    January 2, 2013 11:26 am

    So very beautiful! Thank you Jan. I love and miss you!
    Mary

    • sassysistersink permalink*
      January 2, 2013 1:37 pm

      love you.
      so much.
      xx

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