Debbie J. Verner, 47

As I felt the holly water on my toes the Priest blessed the casket with, I held my niece a little tighter. Standing there, in the isle of Ascension Church, before my sisters casket, poll bearers before us, reality of the situation sank deep within my soul. In sync, as in a dance, my niece and unveiled a cloth that was to cover her casket. I don’t recall much of the service, but I do recall belting out my best notes just for my sister because I know she always liked my voice. The previous night, at her wake, in closing, I read the poem (pictured) and said a few words on behalf of my niece and family. I reminded everyone of the symbolism of the Caterpillar and the butterfly. I tried to assure everyone that Debbie is fine now. She is with her Mom. This I know in my heart. However, we need to make sure my niece is fine- out of respect for my sister. My niece is now an adult. She’s 24 years old. I was 17 when my Mom passed away. Regardless of your age, it’s hard. My sister was also the same age as my Mom when she passed. Though my sister didn’t have breast cancer. We are awaiting the autopsy report.

In a sense, my sister gave me a gift. I was able to become so much closer with my Auntie Judy. I was able to reconnect with family and friends. I didn’t have time to grieve before the wake and funeral because I was busy helping my niece. On the day of the wake and funeral, I felt it wasn’t my time to grieve…it was my niece’s and I needed to show her support. Now that I’m back in Minnesota, with my family, I can breathe again. I wish I could have stayed a bit longer in Chicago, however, as a Mommy and Wife, I have to put my boys above all. They need me, as I need them… I know all too well that grief comes in waves, like the moon and the stars. You never really “get over” it. What we can do is live and embrace the positive…happier times…the memory that lives within our heart.

Despite my differences with my sister, I loved her. I always did. The last time I was in Ascension Church was actually with her and my niece for Christmas mass…before moving to Minnesota. I remember she was trying to make me laugh about something…and we were right in front. We traveled a block in snow to get there…the weather was much different this day.

Bebee Lake

With everything that we’ve gone through, we needed a mental day to just “be.” The boys were first through the entire ordeal of me being in the ER, having pneumonia, and now the passing of my sister. Before I headed off to Chicago, we decided to take a day and spend some good, quality time together…at Bebee Lake. The boys had so much fun playing in the water and building sand castles. Ashish and I, for the first time in a long time, soaked in the joys of parenting and being parents. We are so blessed.

1st Date

God, do I love this man… Everytime I think about him, I still get goosebumps. I have this quote in our bedroom that reads, “Just one life time won’t be enough for us.” So very true! There are times when I wish I would have grew-up with him. Though I do like my occassional space, I couldn’t imagine life without him. It still amazes me that we found one another, given that we grew up half way across the world from one another.
This was our first date since before Nishad was born! Ashish and I went to see Andre Rieu at the Target Center in Minneapolis. There were 6 oncors!! We haven’t been on so late in eons! We “waltzed” in at 11:30PM…
Two very special people made this possible. MD and J came over and hung out with the kids. We originally met MB through Nishad’s school. She quickly became near and dear to us, through conversations with Nishad. The following day, Nishad was all a buzz with stories of MB and her hubby. “Mommy, MB was trying to ride Tiger’s bike!” and “Oh, Mommy…I have to make a picture for J. He throws the ball into the sky.” We will always be thankful for this special time to reconnect as love-birds do. I look forward to returning the favor to MB and J when their baby comes home from Africa.
Now, more than ever, we needed this special couple time to remind us of what is “real.”