Thursday, March 12, 2009
13 Memories of my Aunt
It's Thursday and just to get back into the swing of blogging, I think I will write 13 things about my Aunt Re who died. Last week I spent a lot of time with cousins as my Aunt who has had Alzheimer disease died of gall bladder cancer. It is said that everything happens for a reason and I believe that to be true as it was by chance that I managed to visit my Aunt 3 consectutive days when I realized with my youngest cousin that my aunt was not rebounding and 3 days later, she died. My mother was coming up every other week and I would visit the day before to get a sense of how my Aunt was to prepare my mother for the visit the next day. Thursday was active, Friday was a quiet day, but great visit with my mom and then Saturday was sleep all day and no food or water. Having been through hospice with my brother, I knew what was happening and was there with my cousin for support. Visits were like peaks and valleys and the peaks were gone. My mother and I were there with my cousins when my Aunt died and it was peaceful. I truly believe in a better place.
We spent a lot of time laughing, crying and telling stories in the last few days and here are 13 things about my aunt that made her someone that we will miss and remember with a smile.
1. She hated skiing, even with Alzheimer's , I could get her going about skiing. She would get animated as she told me that she hated every minute of it, but did it to spend the time with her husband who loved it.
2. Loved golfing, was even a Country club Champion. She went out golfing with me about five years ago and joked about not being able to keep score, but damn she could still hit the ball out of tough spots.
3. Was religious and involved in the church while her children were growing.
4. She was shy but bloomed when my Uncle was alive.
5. My mother and she used to sleep together as kids and their lives were similar to the lives of the brothers in Angela's ashes without the trip back to Ireland.
6. She graduated as valedictorian of her Catholic high school, but there was no money for her to go to college.
7. The nuns would tell her to call the house to get my mother to school.
8. She loved the beach and in the early stages of Alzheimers enjoyed sitting on the porch of the cottage that they rented in Kennebunkport to people watch.
9. She was a great cook, but spent most of her life on a diet. My cousins and I reminsced about desserts as kids, they got jello desserts while we got cookies. But then they got to drink milk during dinner while we had to wait until after supper.
10. Even with Alzheimers, her love of music was always there and the staff loved it when she participated in the musical guessing games.
11. Family was important and she loved to hear about our lives and children.
12. My mom used to send me to her house to spend time with my girl cousins and they joked about it being my finishing school.
13. Sad as it is for our family, I know that my Aunt is up there dancing with my Uncle and smiling.