February is kind of a hard month for me in regard to my sister Judi. It's the month she died and the month of her birthday---so of course she has been in my thoughts more than ever recently.
Over the weekend I had an email that brought me great joy. Before Judi died she had been something of a mentor to a young faculty member at another school. I remember Judi talking about her and now that I think about it I think she sent flowers or some kind of gift in the last month of or so of Judi's life. Much of that is all a blur but I remember that she drove from several hours away to be at Judi's funeral.
Out of the blue she wrote me this weekend, three years after Judi's passing. She said that Clemson had listed Judi's position and had reached out to her. She said no three times but they asked again so she and her husband went to visit. Now before Judi left Clemson to move in with us she chose things from her house to give to friends and people that had helped her. One of the things she gave was a little stone bunny. I always remember Judi having that bunny---she got it as a gift when she was just a toddler. She gave the bunny to a colleague at Clemson who had been really kind and helpful to her and she has had the bunny since then. However when this faculty member came to Clemson to interview for Judi's position, Judi's colleague with the bunny said she kept hearing Judi's laugh and she felt that she should give the bunny to her. So she did, and now this woman has accepted the position at Clemson, will be continuing Judi's work there, and keeps Judi's bunny in her office.
To know that people still think of Judi and miss her....and hear her wonderful laugh...well, there couldn't have been a more wonderful gift. I called my sister Debbie and read the email to her. We both cried but they were good tears...honestly they were thankful tears---thankful because it means so much to us to know that Judi's spirit and heart is still felt by others.
Thank you to all of you that still love and miss Judi....and to all of you that can still hear her wonderful laugh and see her smile.