Doing life Differently, since you went away!

“The bags were put on the bus today”, and from that moment on, I sat waiting by the phone, for that early 5:30 phone call that I knew was soon to come, “You have a Parcel here for pick up” he’d say, And with that, I knew soon, the bus had come! Those bags of clothes, were the start of us, it was the beginning of how I idolized her stuff!

Dawnlee was my ‘older’ cousin, who paved my way into the being I am today! From fashion, into fun, into laughter, and sun, Dawn was the girl who paved my personality from early on!  Back roads were essential, music was crucial, laughter was an accessory, and moments were essential to embed into memory!!  She Reminded me, that life was meant to be lived loudly,  and expressively, with happiness and personality!

“Were coming to visit in late May” we’d say, and soon ideas would flow, plans would connect us to go, and we knew that no trip out to see Dawn in BC would ever be wasteful!  Although normal day to day sights were nothing for her, she ensured they were prioritized and explored- an attribute that she always performed, was putting others experiences ahead of her own. Hospitality, entertainment, and a willingness to go, Dawn always helped our trips to simply flow!
I remember the summers I stayed with her, I was just still so young, I had my first exposure to boys and kissing fun!  We’d skip across the road, to play with boys’ with accents at the park, and I remember that moment I felt love and that first spark!

Truth, dare, double dare, and promise to repeat, there wasn’t a dull moment, oh how I wish I could repeat.  From my first kiss to times of first beer, I knew I was safe, because Dawnlee was near! 

From Summers in BC, to times during my university, from the young life in my twenties, to now again in my thirties, My years were so blessed with your energy and ways’, How have we gone a year without you, any ways?!

Dawn, this tribute is simply for you, to know that your still with us in lieu.  My memories are cherished, and there are numerous to explore, so today, I sit and remember you some more.  I wish things went different, I wanted it that way, but god had a need, and waved you in, a year ago today.   

I miss Keith, and the dogs, and the way things were, I miss you, and I, and our many laughing hauls! I know your here, close to my heart, I feel you often, and know your guiding our part!  We will keep going here, and do life different now, but know there hasn’t been a day that your name hasn’t glistened aloud!

Your mom is okay, she’s close with my momma now, She’s learning to do life completely different somehow!  Her strength is beautiful, but I know that you see,  She’s been so helpful, and working on new dreams.  I know she misses you, and wants’ time to go back, but unfortunately she can’t so she is keeping on track.   Your sister and brother are keeping life moving their way, all very different since the day you went away.  Your nephews, are well, Im certain they miss you, they are all learning life challenges knowing your guiding them through!

So for today, I  want you to know, the tears I have shed are for memories alone!   Those days were fun, they encoded our lives, you designed pieces of our soul, and for that I want you to know,  We are us today because you were there, so thank you Dawnlee for the lessons’ you shared.  

You’ve allowed me possibility to bloom into me, and I know that this letter will help you to see, we miss you today, and have for a year, but we thank you instead for the memories we share! Love you Dawn, And keep reminding us to live, to exercise adventure, and opportunity to give!  Your lessons are here, we think of them each day,  because you embedded them in such a powerful way!  

Love you Dawn, 

    Your cousin, Tara

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