Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Keeper of the Family - Part 2

This is not a happy post. Friday night my Aunt E. died. She truly was the keeper of the family. She was the family mother and a second mom to me. I miss her so much.

My Aunt E. knew everything about the family. Not just her side, but ours as well. She could be counted on to know all the names and places.

My farthest back memory is of my aunt sitting me atop her kitchen counter to cut my hair. I'm sure that I was just a toddler at that time. Then, when I was school aged, I used to visit for 2 weeks every summer. I always brought my friend Sue with me. Aunt E and Uncle N would take us to the beach and to Lincoln Park, an amusement park. We'd go visit the zoo.

Our families were close. We'd make the four hour round trip frequently for cookouts, family gatherings, and holidays.

Later, when we moved to Florida, my aunt and uncle would come down for the season. At first they stayed at my parent's house for a couple weeks, then a month. Then they rented a small apartment for a couple seasons. It was just a few blocks from where I lived so they would stop in nearly daily while out for a walk. Then they came for longer and rented a "double wide" for many seasons.

Amanda and I were always thought of lovingly. She treated us as if I was her daughter and Amanda her granddaughter. I could always count on her. Always. we have all been north for over four years. We haven't visited as often. It's harder to get back and forth between our homes because of traffic and then of course, illness. My cousin drove my aunt and uncle up just before the holidays. That's when we got my parent's house decorated so quickly!

This past Friday my cousin called with the bad news. My aunt had a massive stroke. At first they though she might pull through it. Then on Friday night we got the news that she would die. That she only had a day, at most. Saturday morning we got another call. My Aunt E had died during the night.

We haven't heard the final arrangements. We do know that at some point there will be a service in her memory at the South Baptist Church, where she was a lifelong member. If you look back to the first "Keeper of the Family" post (March), you'll see an old picture of the inside of the church. I don't know how any of us here will get down to the service. My dad can't travel and needs someone here with him all the time. My mom won't drive it alone (nor will I). I just don't know.


mary said...

Our prayers are with you and your family at this very sad time. May God give you an extra measure of comfort, peace and yes, strength for all you have to do emotionally and physically as you are the "glue" in your family.


dickiebo said...

You are passing through a dark cloud, Deb. Keep your pecker up until you come come out of it.
All your readers on this side of the pond are thinking of you at this time.

deb said...

Thanks to both of you for your kind comments.

I get feeling bad generally because it seems that I get "left" when I need people the most. I end up having to toughen up and just get on with the things of life. This one was a shock and has changed so much about the dynamics of our family. While I may be the glue for my family, my aunt was the glue for our larger family.

It also makes me painfully aware of the trials of being an only child. Something that I regret having repeated in having only one child myself.

So unfair in so many aunt who needed a rest from caring for my uncle deserved it in enjoyment of life not in dying. My uncle, who needs his wife so desperately, now can't remember that she has died and keeps asking for her.

Net Crimes & Misdemeanors said...

Sorry to hear about your aunt. I'm home for a day, then off again. Virtual hugs!

deb said...

Thanks. Hey, new pic!