Today we had the opportunity to relive some memories, tell stories, and wonder about the future.
My Aunt Bea (great Aunt to be technical) was a solid fixture in my life since childhood. She was married to my Uncle George who was my grandfather's youngest sibling. In my grandfather's family, there were 13 children that lived. My papa was the 2nd oldest. My mom and Aunt Bea were only a few years apart in age, hence her daughter Kathy and I, while separate generations, were only 3 months apart.
During my childhood I spent lots of time at their home. Summer and school vacations. It was always an adventure to be there. In the summer, besides jumping in the little pool in the back yard, we would walk to the school yard, play, make gimp things and just be kids. Though there was one condition, I had to practice my accordian for a minium of one-half hour each day there. When we were good, it was a trip to Crickets for long dogs. If you aren't a native of Stratford and the surrounding area and at least 40 years old, you may only hear of the many tales of this most famous hot dog stand near the beaches there. By the way - they had the best onion rings - real onion rings and the absolute best tomato rice soup I have ever had.
Being from a large family, there are certain ones that no matter where or when, they are always there, in your corner as if time stood still. Kathy and I remain close in a knowing kind of way. I was her maid of honor in her wedding some 33 years ago. Today I spoke with little Cindy, the flower girl, now a beautiful woman, said she still has the dress I designed and sewed for her to be in the wedding. Today we laughed a bit, hugged alot, (Aunt Bea was a great hugger) tears fell. Aunt Bea was sick for the last year and the second fall made going home only a dream. One of her dreams came true, she is now at rest with the love of her life.
She had time for everyone and anyone. She was a great knitter, fiber arts excellence was big in my family. Her Christmas card was one I always looked forward to receiving each year. Since Uncle Georgie left us a long time ago, Aunt Bea was my steady dance partner at all sorts of family events. She wouldn't move until I coaxed her up. One thing about Aunt Bea, you knew where you stood. If you wanted an opinion or not, she was there to give you a gentle push, wise wisdom, or a smack (only kidding)or the raised eyebrow that meant you better listen. She was one of my Aunts that celebrated who I was. So refreshing, not the pushy type that wanted to impose their life onto you. She supported my life for me.
So today, I raise my glass to you, you will always be a grand Aunt to me. Thank you for all your kind lessons. I take each day and continue to strive to be as great a grand Aunt as you were to me as I hope to be to my nieces and nephews. I'll miss you lots, say Hi to Uncle Georgie.