Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Remembering Aunt Jill

Today was my Aunt Jill's memorial service. I couldn't be there, because we're in Georgia and our family is grieving in Iowa. I try not to think about it, because I wish I was there for my Dad and my Aunt and Grandparents and cousins and everyone else who is missing her. I was worried that I would have no closure at all, but I did get to write something for her that they read today.
It's nothing special, but writing the words for her were very emotional for me and I'm grateful to my Aunt Julie who did some editing because I was such a mess.
Anyway. I'm told it was read today at the service, and I wanted to share it with you all too.
here it is :]
A complilation of thoughts from nieces Jennifer Beckner Nelson, Molly Lich Williams, Stephanie Beckner Dashner and nephew Danny Lich as written
by Molly Lich Williams
The fact is that I can’t believe that I am writing this. Nothing sounds right, but I am doing my best.

“What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” –Helen Keller

That’s why Aunt Jill will live forever. Because we loved her deeply and she loved us back. We enjoyed her company and she enjoyed ours.
All of us cousins, Jill’s beloved nieces and nephew, have put together a few of the reasons Jill will live on in our memory’s forever.

Aunt Jill and had the greatest sense of humor.
We all remember watching “What’s Love Got To Do With It” more times than we ever wanted to, or care to remember.
We all remember Aunt Jill’s infectious laughter and how amazing it was to hear such a huge laugh come out of such a little person.
We all remember the bomb pops she always had on hand.
Aunt Jill was an animal lover. She loved Heidi, her miniature schnauzer, the way most people love their children and she truly grieved her loss from cancer, for years.
The day after Aunt Jill passed the realization she was reunited with her Heidi, was suddenly comforting. Although her sweet Emmy, who she loved as much, will miss her forever.
Jill loved her siblings fiercely and was often giving them a hard time to show it. They love her back and miss her terribly.
It’s incredibly painful to know our parents are grieving the loss of their baby sister so deeply.
Aunt Jill thought all of her nieces and nephew were absurdly talented. Stephanie missed her calling as the American Idol. Jen is the worlds greatest mother to her boys. I am a the worlds greatest writer, and Danny is the funniest person to ever live.
She thought we were all funny. And we are. But she knew Danny could make anybody laugh until they had snot running down their faces.
She loved spending time with all of us, and, as I am sure most people do when someone passes, we are all feeling guilty about not spending more time with her as we got older. 
I realize now writing this, that we did spend a lot of time with Jill. We’re all just feeling the loss of her, and realizing that we won’t have the opportunity to spend more time with her in the future is extremely painful.

She loved us so much.

In the last 3 years, all 3 nieces have gotten married and each of our spouses was loved by her as if he had always been a part of the family.
She was so happy for me when I met my husband Zackery, and she loved him so much.
She couldn’t wait for us to have kids. I’m comforted knowing she will meet them, and hold them in her arms, before Zack and I ever do.

Jill loved Jen’s boys, her great nephews, as if they were her own. Zachary loves his Aunt Jill, or Aunt Jeel as he says, so much. Jen says he’s been talking to her in the sky. He will miss her and our future children will miss out. I hope that Zachary can convey to them how much love she had.
I have been feeling a lot of guilt typing this because my best memories of Aunt Jill, in fact, it seems, all of our greatest memories are from one summer where she babysat all of us.
One amazing summer where we went everywhere and we did everything.
We day tripped to fun plex, and the zoo, and the park, and the pool, and the lake, and the movies. Anywhere we wanted to go she took us, and we fought and laughed and sang and danced the whole way.
Or “danced” anyway.
Jill was a terrible dancer, but she danced with her whole heart… and her whole body.

We remember riding around in her convertible that everyone gave her a hard time for having, because it was so impractical.
Jill was impractical, and that’s how she liked it.

We all remember laughing hysterically. Every day.

She was inappropriate, and had just the right amount of twisted sense of humor that our family is known for.

I will probably think of her every time I have a good laugh for a while.

For a while, she ate Molly McButter on EVERYTHING, and called me that for a while too…

Aunt Jill refused to age. Us girls remember doing our nails with her. She always picked the most horrid “lunch lady pink/orange” colors. For someone who refused to age, she sure let her taste in nail polish get ancient. We gave her such a hard time.

We remember when we packed into a car we didn’t fit in with Steph in the hatchback and driving 3 hours away to get grandma and grandpa a new puppy, Sadie.
Sadie was an adorable little black ball of piss and vinegar with an alligator mouth that we all fought over holding on the way home.
First it was Jen’s turn because, no matter what she says, she’s a big whiner and it was always her turn first. Then Danny, because everyone loves him the most. Then me, because everyone knows first and second are the worst and third is the best.
Then finally Steph’s turn, clear in the back.
Steph was so excited and Sadie had been in the car at this point probably 10 times as long as she ever had before. After a few minutes Steph said “aw she’s drooling on me!” until Aunt Jill realized Sadie had just puked all over Steph.
We couldn’t help it. We all (including, and especially, Aunt Jill) laughed and laughed until we thought we'd pee.
Then she made Steph wear a giant shirt to take the puppy in to surprise Gma at work. Jill didn’t want any of us to miss out on the surprise, she was so excited.
She loved to make other people happy.

Finally, our favorite memory as a team is Aunt Jill getting jiggy.
The summer that Aunt Jill babysat us that Will Smith song “Getting Jiggy With It” was very popular and on constantly.
Jill loved to “dance” to that song arms flailing and singing at the top of her lungs . . . At red lights, in the mall, at the pool, anytime one of us kids heard that song start it was sheer panic.
She would look at us and say she was going to get Jiggy if she was trying to get us to do something.
“Get out of the pool and get in the car, it’s time to go home. Get out! Get out or I’ll get Jiggy!” “Ok, sheesh we’re coming! Don’t get jiggy!”.
In the end, we all got Jiggy with Aunt Jill.
I’m really glad that I can remember always, eventually, letting the jiggy moment take us and all of us getting jiggy together.
Scaring pedestrians and passersby.
Jill did that.
She brought the jiggy out in everybody and somewhere in heaven, she is getting jiggy with it right now.

The world has lost a light that can never be replaced.

I miss her so much.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

My Aunt Jill

After a long struggle with illness my Aunt Jill passed away unexpectedly early yesterday morning. I'm heartbroken that she is gone, but it is easy for me to picture her now happy and healthy, free from pain and trials, watching over us.

In the end she was able to give the gift of sight with the donation of her eyes, I know that she would have been very proud of that. I am proud of her for that.

In addition our family asks that all memorials be made to SOLAS (the local animal shelter) in her name. Aunt Jill loved her dogs and would have been very proud that our family has decided to honor her in this way.

Please pray for my grandparents who miss her desperately and have been through so much. While they are grieving my Grandma Barb also continues to struggle to get well herself.

I wish I could be home right now with my family. They are all so sad today, as her loss is really sinking in.

I love you all, so much.

My Aunt Jill had a great sense of humor, and she thought I was hilarious. She loved my blog and I want to write something about her in the coming days that she would have liked. So, please check back.

She loved Zack and I so much. We loved her back.

A service will be held for Jill at Cutler Funeral home in Council Bluffs, Wednesday, November 7th.

Memorials can be directed to SOLAS.