Sunday, July 11, 2010

Dream the world! Live your dreams!

Beverley “Bev” Kaye Stehli
July 23, 1942 - July 5, 2010

Nearly 2 months ago, I meant to post this picture and write about my day with dear friend and mother-figure Bev, but I didn't. Other than the business of life, I don't know why I didn't. Subconciously, I suspect it was because she said something about her hair in the picture and I figured I would just hang on to the picture until the time was right. I'm so glad I took that warm day in May to go and see her.

Yellow, that's about the right color for my last memory of Bev. Despite the cancer and the chemo, she was glowing...having a light that next to nothing could extinguish. If you've ever met or seen anyone who smiled with their eyes, you know what I mean.

She was a lady who lived big, lived bold, and lived beautifully. She is the "old" lady I want to be when I get that age who had a young spirit and true zest for life. I don't think the phrase would be wasted on her by saying she had a lust for life.

Thank you Bev for teaching, sharing, and showing me about all the beautiful things in life. I appreciate the world at broad, travel, and beauty in the little things all around because you had such passion for them. Thank you for believing in me, you really did. Thank you for always asking me how I was, where I was going, what I had seen, how my family was, and reminding me to slow down and not work so much. Thank you for taking hula lessons with me on my maiden trip to Hawaii, for introducing me to the lagoons at Ko'Olina, for complimenting my passion for photography when it was in its infancy, for feeding my love of art through scrapbooking and sending me all those little treasures over the years to add to my growing hobby, for remembering me every Christmas in one way or the other, thank you for your laugh...oh your laugh that I will remember always, for your smile, for your hugs, for adopting me for so many family meals and vacations.

In an email dated this February 15th, she announced her big adventure to all her friends and family. Titled "My Big Adventure" it was the announcment that the cancer that had been so sneakily gone for 5 years, had metastecized to her brain. As was Bev, her email started by asking how everyone else was.

Dear Beloved Friends and Family,
How are you all doing? Hope that 2010’s challenges and obstacles are few and easily manageable. Be sure to celebrate each day….whatever it brings!

I am really, truly going to miss you and I am finding it hard to believe that you are gone. I'm am a better person for having known you and I will not forget you. I will remember you in sunsets, the ocean, beautiful Hawaiian melodies, and in all things purple.

As I was leaving that day, somewhere inside, I knew it was the last time I would see her. I have her a series of hugs and a kiss on the cheek. One of those kisses I used to give my grandmother, the same ones that I drop on my 90 year old Uncle Pete everytime I see him. I didn't see Bev a lot, but she would send the occasional email and it was comforting knowing that she was there, just a postcard away.

Her obituary, so perfectly written by her family, simply ended like this:
Dream the world! Live your dreams!

1 comment:

  1. I find this post incredibly moving and beautiful. You were lucky you knew her :)