Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Aunt Tara

This past week my aunt Tara lost her 5 year battle with breast cancer.  They threw everything they had at it, but sometimes cancer is more stubborn than us.  She leaves behind a husband and 4 beautiful girls.  The two oldest are heading into their teens, and are promising to be stunners like their mother.  Tara was very gracious, accomplished, and classy.  Her husband is my dad's younger brother Kevin.  When we were kids, Kevin was the fun, bachelor uncle.   He was the epitome of cool.  He went to Harvard, he lived in an apartment near the beach, he had a cool car (which to us meant not a minivan or station wagon).  Heck he lived in California, which was pretty much the coolest thing I could think of.  Kevin would fly two of us kids down at a time for a week filled with fun and all the amusement parks a kid could want.  But Kevin was still a Paulitz.  Which means major dorkdom.  Paulitz's are not smooth, in the best of social situations.  We are nerdy, clumsy, and lack any sort of filter on what we say.  So you can imagine my shock when, my senior year of high school, Kevin married Tara.  That he had somehow landed this woman, was beyond my imagination.  Our family joke is that we are the Idaho hillbillys.  We felt even more hillbilly-ish sitting in the backyard of Kevin and Tara's townhouse at their rehersal dinner. I remember being so impressed with how beautiful and elegant she made everything.    I was fascinated by how easy and seamless she made it seem too.  She even had outdoor heaters when it cooled off in the evening.  I thought she must be some sort of genius, she had every little touch in place PLUS OUTDOOR HEATERS!  I was seriously impressed by that rehersal dinner, because it was the sort of thing I'd love to hose, but never  would.  At the time, I was getting ready to go off to college, I thought if could just end up like her...Then I realized that I don't have an elegant or classy bone in my body and gave that up.  In her last years, I think Tara did everything she could to make sure she wouldn't have any regrets.  She knew her time on this earth was limited, but she didn't let it stop her.  She is leaving her girls with many beautiful memories.  I hope that she is at peace with her Lord, and happy with the life she lived.  Kevin was lucky to have landed such a kind and classy woman, and I'm pretty sure they both know it.