2005 was a difficult year. I lost a great and good friend, my long-time church community, and my father-in-law all within a few months.
Today is the first of the major tenth anniversary dates. Ten years ago today, which was Good Friday that year, my friend Angie died from cancer, leaving behind a husband, two sons, a daughter, her mother and siblings, extended family, and many, many, many friends.
I’ve written about Angie before, including here, so I won’t go on too long about her awesomeness. Her legacy includes not only her wonderful family and friends but also a charity fund that gives scholarships, supports cancer patients and their families, and supports The Discovery Center, our local children’s museum, which Angie blessed with her artwork. There is an art gallery, memorial tree, and butterfly house dedicated to her there, as well as an art gallery near the African Road/Vestal Middle School auditorium, which I will always think of as Angie’s Auditorium because it was a long-time dream of hers that she helped fulfill when she served on the Board of Education.
What I am thinking about today, though, is the ten years we have been without her physical presence. The high school graduation of our daughters, the college commencements, her son’s law school graduation, passing the bar, getting married. All the little moments – hanging out in the kitchen, going out for lunch, taking the dog for a walk, attending seemingly endless committee meetings.
Because I do believe in the eternal life of the soul, I believe that Angie is still able to be present in our lives spiritually. For those who don’t believe, Angie is still present through her role in shaping the people whom she loved and who loved her, as well as through the art she left for us to enjoy and the legacy projects I’ve already mentioned.
In some ways, we have been without her for ten years. In other ways, she has been with us all along.