Last week I lost my Great Aunt Sarahmae. She gave the best hugs in the world and loved Louis L’Amour. She carried the Olympic Torch when she was 80 years old, made awesome doughnuts and had words of encouragement for everyone she met.

I am so sad to lose another member of this generation of my family. My grandparents are all gone and my great aunts and uncles take with them little bits of history that I can’t get back.

They knew my grandparents and parents when they were young. They know who they were before my siblings and I came along.

My grandparents and their brothers and sisters kept things close to their hearts. They didn’t have Facebook or Twitter to share every detail of their day with the world. They had secrets and heartaches that I could infer only from offhand remarks and conversations. They didn’t feel the need to talk about sad things. They kept on keeping on.

I find their lives fascinating. The hows and whys that moved them across the U.S. and back. I am amazed by their resolve. I am amazed by their ability to keep moving forward. I am amazed by their ability to give.

For more than 94 years Aunt Sarahmae focused on comforting and encouraging everyone who crossed her path. She did so with a smile and a hug and unconditional love that will be with me always. She’s a hard act to follow.