I've always cherished family. The time spent with them and the memories made with them.
One of my childhood memories that I really savour is back in the 90's when my family had christmas at Aunty J's house.
Christmas' were always special, not only the birth of our saviour but the time spent specifically with family.
This christmas sticks in my mind because that year my brother and sister and I got water pistols for christmas, which we thought were awesome, and like all good kids, we took every present we got from christmas to our Aunty's house to play with.
This christmas happened to be a really hot day and so our water pistols came in handy when playing around with our other cousins. So the day just basically escalated into a full blown water fight.
Not just a kids water fight, a whole family water fight. Our older cousins would go into the house and drag all the older aunty's and uncles out and we would dump water buckets all over them.
It was a great day and we caught a lot of it on camera.
What I liked most about this day is that everybody joined in, older and younger all helped each other out to create a day that stays in my memory and built the foundation of the importance of family in my mind.
Family compares to no other relationship. It is an example of unconditional love, love that isn't dependant on what you bring to the table but that you are just at the table.
Family is a sliver of the unconditional love that God shows us everyday.
This past week has been incredibly sad as we sad goodbye to our Aunty J.
So many memories were made over those years and I will hold them close to my heart.
I look up to Aunty J and my Grandma, the stories I heard about their life, their dedication to educating those in need, helping in all areas for those in need, mentoring young adults to become real people in Christ and following their calling.
So many stories were told at Aunty J's funeral, her four children and husband got up and said an incredibly heartfelt, tearful and wonderful eulogy, about the life of Aunty J, how she loved her family, her neighbours and how much she loved her Almighty God and Lord Jesus Christ with all her heart, she knew what death would be, to be with her creator who loved her more than anyone on this earth could.
I admire the courage my cousins and uncle had at speaking at Aunty J's funeral, I can't even imagine what that must have felt like.
Knowing Aunty J is in heaven with Lord Jesus and we will see her again is the one saving grace from having to say goodbye to someone way to early. The sunshine through the rain, the silver lining.
Living with the knowledge that death can not separate us, death can not hold us, the fear of death is gone and life after death is assured.
We are not made for nothing, we are more than just the atoms that make us up. God made us for a reason, for a purpose, to love Him, to worship Him, to live life with Him, and that's exactly what Aunty J did.
We are not bound by rules and obligations but by the desires of our heart to do good and to love our neighbours, help our neighbours and love Jesus with all our heart, mind, soul and strength.
Cherish the time we have on earth because it is fleeting, it doesn't last forever, death is not a choice, but the way in which you chose to die is.
RIP Aunty J, no need to say goodbye, just that I'll see you later!!!