…Any Way You Look At It…Nothing Easy About It…

The Elephant in the Room…

Death in general is not a pleasant subject that one chooses to think about unless faced with it head-on.  Death does not discriminate…age, gender, race, or ethnicity; we all have experienced it in one way or another.  Everyone deals in their own way…crying, laughing, silence, reminiscing, in the embrace of others sharing in the grief or in the solitude of our own hearts, thoughts and minds.    No matter how many times one faces the death of a loved one, it just simply does not get any easier.  Oftentimes a sense of emptiness or a void is present; an aching in your heart lingering as you sort through every emotion an individual has the capacity to tolerate.  A sense of comfort exists knowing that one is at peace at last.

You search through your memories from the past, relishing in moments of recent days, clinging to the every second of an individual’s life.  Death is not something we choose to think about during the day-to-day.  However, the truth is, it happens whether we choose to acknowledge it or not; whether we face it head on or hide behind insecurities, wonder of uncertainties, dwell in regrets and what-ifs.  The time and place are unknown, out of our hands, in the time of Another’s choosing.  The true challenge, something we have sole control over,  is choosing to celebrate the life lived versus lost.

There’s just something about her…

The “spunkiest” person I have ever known to walk this earth.  There is no other single word that describes the Matriarch of the Conley Clan in a more appropriate manner than this.  From the very first moment, when my mom surprised Lynn by inviting his mom over for a birthday celebration, I knew she was something special. Up until that point, I had only answered the phone when she was calling for Lynn.  She was sweet and warm, funny and witty.  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I was soon to find out that I gained a new Grandma, calling her Mrs. Conley very few times before being welcomed into her brood.  From the very beginning, she treated Lindsay and me as members of the family; including us just as she did every other grandchild.  She loved past the ties of blood, enveloping us in her heartstrings, including us in the warmth of her embrace.    One would never have known there was a “step” before granddaughter.  There was no need to clarify this difference; in her eyes, as well as in my own, we were and are family.   No need to explain or decipher any further than this…she was Grandma and I her granddaughter.

She was a woman of great character.  Holding strong to her beliefs and staying true to her words.  She practiced what she preached; teaching us all to be strong and have faith in ourselves and in others through her everyday example.  She enjoyed life and those in it.  She was always up for a good time and great laughs, even when they were at her expense.  She raised an amazing bunch of Conley’s who continue her legacy of faith, hope and love; strength, devotion and honor; humor, wit, and sarcasm.

Life Lived…

In her 90 years on this beautiful Earth, I can only imagine the ups and downs, tears and laughs, heartaches and triumphs, she had experienced.  She seemed to deal with things in her own way; her “spunkiness” carrying her through.  She was one of the toughest little women I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, honor of loving.  Her unconditional love for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren was insurmountable…I was lucky enough to be included in that exclusive club.

Time standing still

Hearing the words, “she is gone”…time stands still.   I knew it was coming…we all did.  That didn’t make the loss of her life any easier to accept.  For me, and I am assuming the same for many of us, accepting Grandma’s passing from this world to the next was only made easier knowing that she lived a long, happy and full life and can now be with her 2 sons and husband.  They are now together, happy, healthy, and rejoicing in their forever home together.  As we remember, l strive not to be sad in the loss of her life here on this Earth.  But instead celebrate the laughter she enjoyed with us; the strength she shared with us; the values she instilled in us; the family she created for us.

Her spunk carried her through up until the very end of her time with us; I can only hope to make her proud and keep the spunk alive by cherishing the moments, and relishing in these thoughts until we meet again.

Thelma Conley

December 1, 1919 – August 1, 2010


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