On my drive home yesterday after the annual shopping trip Ashlie and I take with Brianne, her Mom, sisters, aunts and cousins I did a draft of this entry in my mind and it seems I have a lot to say. First of all we have been doing this trip long enough to have accumulated a lot of memories and stories. We used to go to Bangor and have now for several reasons gone to Moncton instead. Lots of laughs , lots of shopping , memorable meals and a connection that increases every year. More than anything our trip builds a bond of love and support that is worth so much more than the purchases we take from our bags for our Saturday night post shopping Show and Tell.Another year and another great trip. Yesterday as the others broke off to do more shopping I went to visit my dear Aunt Lois. She is in a lovely care home and every time I visit her I am more impressed by the staff and comfortable caring home they provide. If someday I find myself unable to be in my own home I wish for a home like Serenacare on Briarlea. My beloved aunt is in the final stages of Altzheimers. She now spends most of her days asleep and unresponsive. When I arrived I was led to a lovely little sitting room where she was nestled comfortably into a comfy chair. She was looking beautiful , her snow white hair styled , her alabaster skin with just a hint of blush, her black turtleneck and red fleece vest was topped off with a lovely necklace. She was covered with a warm cozy blanket and her head tilted comfortably resting on a neck pillow. She looked beautiful to me and I was so thankful for the obvious care she’d been given. I knelt beside her chair and spoke to her telling her only half of what my bursting heart was feeling. I touched her cheek, her soft hair and I cried . I thought of so many things , so many memories, so many years of sitting in the presence of my aunt , my mom and their two other sisters bearing witness to the love they held for each other. I looked at the piano across the room from my silent aunt.My cousins gifted the piano to the home in memory of their dad my beloved Uncle Bernie who left us around this time last year.I thought of the part music played in my aunts and my Mom’s life. They sang in church, played the piano publicly and daily for their own pleasure. I could almost hear my aunt’s voice and Mom’s voice joining hers as I sat in silence, the only sound being the shallow breathing of the woman I love so deeply. I could hear her loving words, her genuine interest in every aspect of my life. I could hear her comforting words as she came through my door the day Zac died.I heard the lines of the theme from Romeo and Juliet that she sang at my wedding.I remembered when that voice faltered as she kept playing unable to sing caught up in the emotion. The songs of her life were always songs of love and caring and of a faith so strong and constant. My silent aunt and my silent mom gone before they leave us but present in my very being which gives me the assurance that they will never be gone and their song will never be completely silent. My cousin Joy when visiting her mom these days sits at the piano and plays and Lois opens her eyes and her mouth and sings in her weak and wobbly voice. I did not attempt to play but heard her voice in my heart. A time for us, someday there’ll be. A new world, a world of shining hope for you and me.