Never Miss The Chance …

Today was one of the most difficult days I’ve had in a long time. I had to say “goodbye” to an amazing person: my great-aunt, Eleanor (“Joey”) Dunmore. I met Joey about 20 years ago when my mom and step-dad got married, and for over 20 years, this incredible individual has struggled on and off with cancer. No matter what she was going through though, Joey was always smiling. Even when she was sick and in pain, she forever remained positive and happy. Joey was a wife, a mother, a grandmother, an aunt, a friend, and a teacher … she was many things to many people and loved by all of them!

As I was waiting for the memorial service to start this afternoon, I looked around the church, and I was in awe of the number of people there. From family and friends to her dental hygienist and cleaning lady, hundreds of people came to say goodbye to Joey. Sitting in this church today, it really felt like this one person touched the world.

Today I started to think: I knew that Joey was sick, and at the end, before it happened, I knew that she was going to pass away too. School was busy though, and life was chaotic, and I thought that I still had time to see her first. I was wrong though. Even now, I’m trying to think of the last time that I saw her, and the last thing that I said to her too. Did I tell Joey that I love her? I hope that I did, and I know that from now on, I will never miss the opportunity to tell those close to me how I feel about them.

Joey, I love you and I miss you. This blog post is for you!

Aunt Joey: Loved And Missed

18 thoughts on “Never Miss The Chance …

  1. That is a very touching good-bye! I have learned the hard way to always say I love you! It is so important that we put our family first and we,as educators, tend to put them on the back burner!
    I know that you will focus on all of the good memories you have and you will always feel her presence!

  2. I’m so sorry about your loss Aviva. You’re post has really touched me. So powerful and moving. I’m sure she was such an example too. My thoughts are with you and your family. Sending you a big hug all the way from Argentina.

  3. Thank you Kelly! I would like to think that I always do put family first, but often, they do come second to the demands of the classroom. I love what I do, and I do not regret the time that I put into school, but I think that from now on, I’ll remember just that bit more about the importance of family too.

    I definitely will remember Joey fondly! Thanks for all of your support and your lovely comment too!


  4. Oh Aviva, I am so sorry! Joey sounds like an amazing lady. I can’t do anything to lessen the pain you are going through, but I am always here to support you.

  5. Aviva,
    Your great-aunt always knew you loved her & I know you told her the last time you spoke to her. Those we love have a deep sense of who we are and what we feel. Many times, we have no idea as far as the impact we have on someone’s life and obviously you great-aunt touched a great many. What a lovely tribute but to someone who reads your posts and blogs I can truly say it sounds just like you: kind, thoughtful, and caring.

  6. Thank you, JoAnn, for such a lovely comment! I hope that I did tell Joey that I love her, and I know that she knew that too, but today really made me realize the importance of never forgetting to say how we feel. Thanks for all of your kind words too! You’re always so supportive, and I really appreciate that!


  7. Aviva,
    Really sorry for your loss. I agree, sometimes we forget our priorities in the hectic pace of life. Your post made me remember my fav aunt who passed many years ago. A week before she died I had gone to see her because she had cooked some food for my sister and I when my parents were on vacation. The last thing she said to me when I left was: “I love you.” which I repeated back to her. Somehow, I know she is still out there guiding me. I am sure yours is too!!

  8. Aviva – a very touching post. Let me extend my condolences to you on the loss of your Aunt Joey! I am certain she knew how you felt…your message is so pertinent and touching full of a lesson that we should all take to heart. Sending you a virtual hug to help make the day a little better. Theresa

  9. Thank you so much, Safina, and thanks for sharing your story here too! Today definitely taught me the importance of never missing an opportunity to say, “I love you!” I really appreciate all of your support!


  10. Hi Aviva, those we lose are never really gone as we are forever changed by those we love. Joey’s story is part of yours and yours is of hers. I don’t know if your are religious, but I will pray for you and all who are part of Joey’s story.

    Jonathan Rajalingam

  11. Thanks Jonathan! That means a lot! I absolutely agree with you that, “we are forever changed by those we love.” Joey has definitely changed me … and for the better!


  12. Aviva,
    I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your aunt. She sounds amazing. I’m sure you have many wonderful memories you will treasure close to your heart. Your post was a touching tribute to her life and your relationship.


  13. Thanks for the comment, Cathy, and for the support too! Joey was an amazing person, and I will miss her a lot, but definitely do have a lot of fun memories of her as well!


  14. So sorry to hear about your loss Aviva. Hopefully you’ll be able to remember your great-aunt by the old adage: “Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away.”
    Focus on those memories. Stay well!

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