On Thursday my mom's sister, Auntie Betty, passed away at home. This was her wish. Auntie's heart had been failing. It simply stopped getting ready for her day. An accepted inevitability of her disease. I have written before about the dear Old Ones in my life and just wish to reflect a little on this dear soul here.
There were 9 years difference in ages as well as a different father between the 2 sisters. Mom was first born. Lost her dad at age 4. Mom was taller, larger framed, dark haired, more out going. Auntie was born after her mom remarried. She was short, finer boned, wicked white blonde and, as I found out these past number of years, introverted and extremely private. I have often described my mom as a little brown bird. She never found the knack of doing her hair, wearing stylish clothes or feeling comfortable wearing some of the beautiful jewelry Dad gave her. Auntie, on the other hand, was classic and classy. She wore beautiful expensive clothes, tasteful but lovely jewelry and was always impeccably coiffured. And lipstick. She had her signature color and was never without it on. I was fascinated by my Aunt. She shaped some of my ideas about dressing up and jewelry. Let's not forget the lipstick. I too love to wear it. It's rare to see me without!
The sister's lives traveled very different trajectories. The very regular family gatherings of my childhood dwindled as family busyness took over. Though bless my uncle Leo's heart, he created periodic gatherings for us to stay in touch. When he died around 8 years ago, in a variety of small ways so did my Auntie. Or at least the impetus to be out in the world with the variety and enthusiasm as she and my uncle had done. She became a bit of a recluse. Hard to draw out of her home. That said last November Auntie was feeling better. Her daughter, my sister and I took over a lunch and had a wonderful visit. It had been close to 2 years since I had seen her. Auntie was in fine form. We enjoyed a delightful afternoon. A quick story, .... she wanted to show me some pictures of a fellow that starred in a Netflix series she was really enjoying. "Isn't he a hunk?" she said. You could have bowled me over with a feather. Never heard her say anything as earthy as that. And yes he was a hunk! It delighted me that part of her life was still in play.
Secondly, there was a wee piece in our last correspondence on email. She loved email! I had shared that my sister and I made pirogies for the first time in any significant way. Used her dough recipe and it was amazing! Also told her I had received a ring for Christmas, similar to one I had admired for years and years of hers. Told her I thought of her when I wore it. "Good hubby" she wrote back. Made me laugh!
There will not be a gathering of any kind. Am sorry for that. There would be other sweet stories of my Auntie Betty that would have been fun to hear. She lived and died on her terms. In the end what more could you ask for. Will miss you dear one!