Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Loving Tribute to Becky: She Taught Me Much

This post is dedicated to my beautiful, beloved sister-in-law (Mark's sister), Rebecca (Becky) Bradley.  We lost this unique, precious soul, yesterday, after her five-day battle to overcome a massive stroke.  Becky was only 50 years old--my age. 

That's her pictured above on the left.  This photo was taken in December 1981, and, yes, that's me on the right, "Big 80's" hair and all.  Not Becky, though.  Her look would be totally contemporary today.  You see, she had timeless taste.  There's a line (and, I am paraphrasing, now) from one of my favorite movies, The Joy Luck Club.  It goes something like this, "She has impeccable style.  She must have been born that way. Style like that you cannot teach."  That was Becky.  Another case in point: put our high school class pictures side by side.  Me...more big hair and plenty of hairspray to boot. adorable pixie cut any of today's super models would have no problem sporting.

Perhaps, her style was inborn.  But, from the moment I met her, I was taking notes, ready to learn--as she had so very much to teach me--in terms of good taste and a whole host of other things.

Folks may think me to be a born goal-setter.  Not so.  This I learned from Becky. For years, I observed in total amazement, as she established goals, avidly pursued and deservedly claimed them.  Through these observations, I learned that with dedicated intentions and hard work, desired achievements are possible.

Becky taught me the value of a higher education.  She was a straight A student all through high school and college--high school class valedictorian and a full-ride scholarship to college.  She inspired me to obtain my undergraduate and graduate degrees; thus began my total love of learning, which has endured to this very day.

And, even though I didn't fully realize it all those years ago, it was Becky who introduced me to mindfulness.  Every endeavor undertaken, each selection made, be it the books she read or the clothing she purchased, was given careful consideration and truly reflected her authentic self.  Although it was something I struggled to replicate until more recently, this quality was one I initially admired in her, and did so for many years.

The list of what she taught me: grace, generosity, refinement, independence, is infinite.  Unfortunately, her time on this earth was far too short.  As easy as it is, right now, to embrace my feelings of how unfair this is (to me and oh-so-many others), my focus is on cherishing the fact that I not only knew this wonderful spirit, I proudly have the right to call her my sister--in every sense of the word.

Thank you, dear Friends, for all of the encouragement, support, love and advice you have offered me during this difficult past week.  It has brought tremendous comfort to both me and Mark (also a daily reader of this blog).

My posts will be scant and possibly non-existent, at points, for the next several days.  But, I will be back--as it is my art--my writing that will allow me to lessen this pain in my heart.

Love and peace.  T.