A fresh new look and perspective...

I changed the look of my blog today. I needed something spring-y. The pink was getting old and too "Barbie" for me. Plus I want to change the header based on the season or my moods. I need something to reflect my new outlook.

You see, my uncle passed away suddenly, just over a month ago. On St. Patty's Day to be exact. Many of you already know this. It was tough because it was such a shock. My husband and I talked about it lots because we were so shocked and saddened and decided it's better to go out suddenly than to be sick and have to watch someone waste away. Nonetheless, it sucks. On one hand we were glad our son is too little to understand and need to explain, but in the same breath, I'm sad my son never got to know this wonderful man. I've started many, many posts about him. The first when I was back at my hotel winding down after his memorial service on April 1. I just couldn't bring myself to complete the post. Because it would then mean Gordon is truly gone.

I mean I *know* he's gone. His booming voice and delightful British/Canadian/California-tized accent didn't greet me and my family as we entered the house he and my auntie shared. He was glaringly missing from all the family activities we partook of while we were in California (memorial service, impromptu trips to Starbucks to talk, dinners, etc.). There was that emptiness.

He's going to be missed dearly and I hope he knew how important he was to each and every one of us. See, Gordon and my auntie never married, but they'd been together over 27 years. That's a long time. I know he'd asked her, but for some reason they didn't. And that was fine. They were perfect for each other and loved each other dearly. You could tell. They didn't need all the formal bullshit to make it "official." Everyone in the family considered him a brother. To me he was my uncle, even though I simply called him "Gordon." He was a permenent fixture in my life since I was about six or seven.

A pain in the ass at times, yes. Did we disagree with him? Yes. But he was a good, kind man. Brilliant conversationalist. Constant optimist. Always seeking everyone's approval. Most importantly, he took care of my auntie.

My auntie is the type of person who it's ingrained in her to always be the caretaker for everyone else. Even after Gordon's sudden passing, she was more worried about everyone else than herself. That's who she is and why we love her. Gordon took care of my auntie. Her brothers loved him for it. They felt at ease that someone was looking out for their beloved sister. Don't get me wrong - she's no shrinking violet. My aunt is a strong woman. But it was always nice to know they had each other.

Auntie is holding up well, but still I worry. I tell you, the day we boarded our plane to return home was absolutely the hardest it's ever been for me to leave her. Of course it didn't help that it was pouring rain that day, adding to my heavy heart. I know she'll be fine, but there was that sense of emptiness in the house as we visited the afternoon away before leaving the airport. As I waited to board my flight with my husband and son, I was going through the calendar in my mind planning the next possible trip out to spend time with her.

It gets easier. I'm pouring myself into writing things down. Gathering photos. Writing down more snippets of memories. I'm putting all these things into a rememberance album. Once I have it the way I want it I'm going to make another copy for myself so I can send that one off to my aunt. It helps the healing process.

Most importantly, it's been a turningpoint for change. Not like I never grasped life by the bullhorns before, but now more than ever my motto is: life is too short to worry about stupid stuff. Life is too short to be stuck in a job that's not right for you. Life is too short not to pursue your dreams. Life is too short to not stop and smell the roses. Life is too short to not have time to enjoy it.

So, my dear readers, this is the point in which I change my outlook. And my look. What do you think about the fresher, more peaceful me?

Sidenote: this does NOT by any stretch mean I've softened. I'll still rant. I'll still muse. I've just changed my perspective a little. That's all. :o)

More to come... stay tuned...

Adiós, tío. Le amamos y le faltamos cada día que le van.

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