Friday, 2 October 2015

Thankful. . .

This blog post is dedicated to the memory of my recently departed cousin, Lili Livigisitone

I hope you don't mind Lili but I didn't get to speak at your family service tonight.
So I'm taking this opportunity to say a few words about you and how much you have meant to me in my life.  I will miss you braiding my hair and looking after me as a young child. When I heard you had passed, I was actually glad - because I knew that your service was now over.  You have fulfilled your mission.

It's the first breath of springtime
And a warm wind picks up the fallen blossom
And sails in circles down the street
A lady cycles past with her hair in braids
As they're pulling down the awning to the train station cafe 

You made me see things from your perspective that was uniquely your own.  I loved having conversations with you because people underestimated the fact that you actually had a brain and you could actually figure things out before they could.  People think because you had trouble hearing and couldn't speak - that you couldn't think.  You had many talents.  Because it was perceived that your words weren't clear, you spoke through your hands.  You were very skilled with anything to do with your hands.  As I sit here at your family service thinking about you and remembering you, I'm realising how much I'm missing you.

I'm alive and I'm thankful for this time
I'm alive and I'm thankful for this time

You shared so much with me.  You didn't have much in the way of material things, but you didn't need to.  You had so much to give from your generous heart.  You showed how much you loved everyone by doing things in that meticulous way that all your cousins know that is still uniquely yours.  I'm finding that it is very easy to write nice things about you, great things about you - because despite your stature, you were larger than life, you actions and deeds spoke louder than your words ever could.  But when you did speak, you would say the funniest things.  I will miss your wicked sense of humour.

Six o'clock, summer afternoon
Next door's kids are playing in the yard
I'm doing the dishes at the window and the radio's playing 'Superstar'
And the sun falls down on the garden next door
But two young boys are fighting, till a woman appears at the door

Growing up with you (upon reflection now as an adult) you taught me about service.
You worked tirelessly because it was your joy to serve and you knew that you were good at doing it, you hated people that were slow and would just prefer to do things yourself.  I think I've learned that from you.  To get something done right, you have to do it yourself.  But I'm learning to trust people Lili and have them help me on this life mission that I've been born into; yet sometimes struggle to fully comprehend.

And the fires and the fog and the falling leaves
Under October skies
You walked me home in the cold after closing time
As the leaves rushed by

You were one of the few cousins that I could count on.  You always knew where everything was kept in the house, You had a particular way of doing things that I never questioned but you just did so quickly and quietly in your efficient way.  You had a great sense of humour and I loved to see you smile.  Every time I got smart to you or I cracked some jokes you would always hit me because even though you laughed because it was funny, you also knew they were inappropriate jokes - but you loved me and laughed anyway.  When I teased you, it was always in good jest and I never disrespected you because I knew how valuable you were to our family; not just my nuclear family but our entire extended family.  I will miss seeing you at our family gatherings..

How I want to be loved
How I need to be loved
Now that I've found you, I'd do anything for you

The one thing that I am proud to have shared with you was my love of puzzles.
When I was at intermediate school, I would wander down the road to the dairy and buy some wordfind puzzle books.  You asked me once what they were.  I explained to you what they were.  I pointed out the words at the top of each puzzle and how you would need to find them in the puzzle grid.  You clicked straight away.  I didn't know it then, but I had ignited a fire in you. Every time you rested from your daily routine, I would find you sitting quietly poring over your puzzle book enjoying finding the words and circling them with your pen.  When you finished each puzzle book, you would tell me that you wanted a new one and I would go and buy a new one for you.  I'm glad that I got to do that one thing for you - when you would do anything for me.

In the Forest of Angels that's where we laid you down
And I can hear whispers
When the first frost falls on the ground

Manuia lou malaga Lili.
I hope that you will save a space for me, because I know you will make sure that God's house is immaculate before we join you.

You're alive, just be thankful
For this time . . .