My Aunt was the embodiment of class and grace. She always looked fabulous and she was always the life of the party, no matter whose party it was. If there was good music on (especially if it was Hot, Hot, Hot) Auntie Carol would be up and dancing. No one was allowed to sit down and be a wallflower if she had anything to say about it. She was the one out on the dance floor getting the party started, usually with a conga line, pulling all of us young 'uns out of our seats. You couldn't say no to Auntie Carol, nor did you really want to. Her enthusiasm was infectious.
She always took a keen interest in my athletic endeavors. Her first battle with cancer inspired me to enter my first ever race - the CIBC Run for The Cure. That race sealed the deal for me and running. I was officially addicted. When I went on to do my first Ironman, I raised funds for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, with her and my two grandmothers in my thoughts. She was always so supportive and encouraging, always checking in to see how training was going.
It's never easy losing someone you love, even if you know it's coming. As G so aptly put it, we are getting to the stage in our lives where we're going to start losing people. He's right. Cancer has taken 3 people from my life in the last 6 months. Two of them were my age. It's sad but it's a fact of life. I know Auntie Carol wouldn't want me to sit around crying - I've done a lot of that already - she'd want me to remember the good times. It's easier said than done but I'm going to do my best. My sister and I were chatting the other night and we both feel pretty lucky to have had someone like Auntie Carol in our lives.
I'm not normally a betting woman but in this case I'll bet you anything that my Aunt is leading a conga line up to St. Peter's Gates. Heaven's not going to know what hit it, but I can bet you it will be a much more lively place with her there.
R.I.P Carol Kolb, December 2, 1945 - February 24th, 2015. You will be missed.