But as her birthday comes around again, three months to the day after mine, I realize that her passing does not remove her from our family. She is as real to us as though it were still possible to pick up the phone and listen to her tell you a silly story about her cats, or hear about the latest knee surgery or, in a self-deprecating way, tell about some awesome act of neighborly kindness she was involved in lately.
She grew a huge garden every year and gave away most of it. She baked constantly---again---giving away the results to friends in need. (And the need didn't have to be sickness--she knew who felt lonely and sad.) She was grandmother extrordinaire, too, and they didn't have to be her grandchildren. She'd drop in on my grandchildren because she could, and I couldn't. Too far away. If you were her relative in the MTC, you got treats. Her son sent people to visit/stay with her while he was in Korea, because he knew she would take them in and do what was needed--despite the inability to communicate in a common language.
She inherited most of the ills and physical ailments and difficult body structures that the entire gene-pool seemed to offer. But she also inherited all the goodness, hospitality, humor and joie de vivre that was available too. Happy Birthday, Trish!