On top of that, my dear friend and cousin, Denise Emery passed away pretty suddenly Valentine's Day. Denise is married to Mark's cousin, Dick Emery, but Mark and Dick grew up more like brothers than cousins. After Dick and Denise married they moved up to the Ranch, as family calls it. We were on what some might call a family compound. On 33 acres sat five homes. Dick's Dad's house, Wilson Emery, was right next to Grandmother Dasie Wilson Emery's home, the original homestead. This is where Mark grew up with his mother and Grandmother Dasie. Donna Emery, Dick's sister, had a trailer for she and Eric very near Grandmother's home & Wilson's home. Mark's mom built her home the farthest away, but he never lived in it until after we were married. Dick and Denise moved into the "old" house when we moved into the home Mark's mother, Eleanor Emery (Kitty) built, and Kitty finished off a part of the home as a studio apartment of sorts for herself. The fifth house was Great Aunt Reit's home (Margareitte Wilson Brent), Grandmother Dasie's sister. Hope you have all that straight, since it is a bit complex.
Looking back, I remember how lonely I felt going to my first Relay for Life Survivor dinner. It felt odd to be there as I didn't feel like a Survivor since I was in the midst of treatment that August and would not finish my radiation until the end of September. I had no hair, I didn't really know anyone there, but it felt like I should go. I remember asking Denise if she would be going, hoping I'd have her company. But she had attended many in the past years, and was cancer free and just not into it that year. Little did we both know that we would share a table for the next 4 years at the Survivor dinner.
Just a few days before she passed, Denise introduced me to someone as her sister-in-law. I was taken by the association. I didn't know if it was a slip up, or how she really felt. After all we are technically cousins. But I was tickled that moment she called me her sister-in-law.
Rest in peace sweet Denise. Soar with the angels. You fought a long, hard battle, and now you can rest. You will be missed and remembered by so many, including me. Watch over your dear husband, children, and grandchildren. It was very fitting that you left this world on Valentine's Day, as you had such a huge heart.