An awakening of sorts - dedicated to my stepsister

This is definitely a personal and emotional blog...I have lost someone that I never really "had" and actually hardly even stepsister, Taunia Halcrow Oechslin. By my best recollections, we hung out twice in our lives, twenty-five some odd years ago. The first time was for just the afternoon, in Fairfax, VA, at the batting cages I think. The second was at her Grandma's in Drayton, ND. That doesn't mean I didn't think or care about her or that she had no effect on my life....far from it.

Ever have those times - when people come to mind, that you haven't thought of in a while, or with no true prompts at the time? You know? Out of the blue, as they say? It happened to me, and very recently. I will research my history and find the exact date, because I do that - off topic - one day I was obsessed with finding out the song that was played on Friends during the final show where Rachel "got off the plane" and came back to Ross - guess was the anniversary of the original air date of the Finale - yes freaky - well I think so anyways - so yes I will research my history to find out when I went looking for my stepsister on facebook. Unfortunately, for the grief I feel now, I was looking up the wrong name AND I didn't google her. So is it fair to say God was working a little here - I think so because I had such a strong, unprompted desire to reach out to the questioning...was she thinking of me at that moment and that was to be our connection, possibly, or maybe we actually weren't meant to actually connect, because that might have been to painful or upsetting for Taun during her last week. I just can't help FEELING though that the feeling wasn't for nothing.
So how does a stepsister you've seen/meet twice have an impact on your on....earlier this morning I was walking and talking with friend and told her - I think I live my life the way I do in part because of the relationship Taun and I DIDN'T share. If you know me, you know I adore family, always wanted one, always trying to create one, always trying to join one :-) I just think they are they greatest tribute to love which is of course "the greatest of all things" AND we always want what we don't have. I didn't have a relationship with Taun. I always thought that for her and I to have a relationship it wouldn't sit well with the adults in our lives, but that didn't stop me from explaining my life story to anyone who'd listen.....i have a half-brother and a stepsister - neither one living with me and unfortunately neither one of them in touch with me either :-( So guess what? I created the identical situation and have vowed (literally, to the justice of the peace)to make it work - I have jaime, sabrina and joseph - and you know i adore them. I've even had multiple conversations with the girls and told them how I really want all of us to get along and treat each other well because I wasn't able to do that with my brother and sister. So Taun will live on, forever more, in my family.

I also have to mention that I have learned so much about my stepsister this morning after googling her - she was an amazing person, she was giving and caring and worked with the community to truly make the world a better place. I am so proud of her and definitely missed out not knowing her. I am so sad for her husband, and young son, and her extended family, and for their loss. I now know how huge it was. Taunia, you are an true inspriation! I know you are in Heaven! God Bless Your Soul.

Taunia Halcrow Oechslin
OECHSLIN– Taunia (Halcrow), 39, Westmont, died peacefully April 9, 2009, at Windber Hospice after a three- year battle with cancer. She was born Feb. 4, 1970, in Shirley, Mass., and is survived by parents, Don Dudley and Pam Halcrow, Fairfax, Va; husband, Brian, and son, Connor, both of Westmont; grandmother, Jessie Halcrow, Drayton, N.D.; aunts and uncles, Sharon and Dennis Gustafson, Thomas and Konnie Middleton and David Halcrow and Cheri Halcrow; and mother-in-law, Adele Oechslin. Taunia was a 1988 graduate of Westmont Hilltop High School and a 1992 graduate of Lycoming College. She was currently serving as senior director of donor recruitment for the Greater Alleghenies Region of the American Red Cross. She organized a "Fun Run" to raise money for the Keystone Chapter. In her personal fight against breast cancer, Taunia established the annual fundraising event, "Girls Night Out." She also was a hospice volunteer and served as a volunteer board member for the Windber Hospital Foundation and appeared in several public service ads for the Joyce Murtha Breast Care Center. Taunia led a team effort to raise money to remodel the facilities at the Johnstown Family Kitchen and served on the board of the alumni association at Lycoming College. A memorial celebration to honor Taunia's life will be held at a date to be announced. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Joyce Murtha Breast Care Center in Taunia's memory. Arrangements are entrusted to Picking-Treece-Bennett Mortuary Inc., West Hills.

Welcome back!

I guess I am still in the testing phase of this "blogging" thing. I hope to spend a little more time on it and then regularly (weekly?) update it. To quote Rascal Flatts..."Sometimes it feels like this world is spinning faster Than it did in the old days". Everyone's busy fitting life into the finite hours we have each day - hopefully this will keep us connected a little better than before.