I did not know Jeni, but I wish I did. She was a casual adoptee friend on Facebook. I always looked forward to her comments because she was one of those refreshingly positive, caring, and comical people.
Then she was gone. And I couldn’t believe how much I missed her, since I had never even met her.
Those who really knew and loved her created an event: Sitting Shiva for Jeni. I was honored to be invited. I will light a candle and pray for this generous soul. And I will take the clothes I was going to just drop at Goodwill for sake of convenience and instead donate them to a women’s shelter. I will gather extra supplies and give to the small, local food bank at the Presbyterian church nearby. And (this is the hard one) I will call the animal hospital, to ask if I can return the pain killers and antibiotics my cat did not live to use, in case someone else needs it but can’t afford it.
The title of this post is “Don’t Wait”. Jeni’s sister is paraphrased here by Jeni’s closest friend. I hope they do not mind me sharing, but I feel this is too important not to:
“T. would like you all to know that she hopes those who are searching and those who are found will remember that time is fleeting. Please don’t put off telling someone that you care or wait to let them know you want them in your life. Please don’t “pick and choose” when to be a family – because time slips by before you know it. Make the effort. Be the one who calls. Don’t leave another party hanging or make them a convenience if you really care. The devastation when words are left unsaid or time we cheat ourselves out of by being stubborn or prideful is sheer torture for those left behind. If you love someone, reach out – even when you argue. Don’t wait when all is said and done. Don’t play with people’s emotions or leave people who love you behind by allowing petty arguments to rob you of relationships. Don’t let your time pass without letting people know how you feel.”
If you know someone is out there, search.
If someone who is searching contacts you, respond with kindness.
Even if you think there is no one to be “found,” do a DNA test with ancestry.com, FamilyTreeDNA, or 23andme. You could be the key, the last piece of someone else’s puzzle.
Elle Cuardaigh is author of The Tangled Red Thread http://tinyurl.com/lbuxw8c