If Not for Their Love, I Would Not Be Who I Am

December 9, 2014

Prompt: Describe someone who made you feel loved. Make the description so vivid that the reader feels loved, too.

When my Aunt Rose died a few years ago, I was not able to travel to the funeral. I’ve written before how important it is to me to be with family when we have a loss. Aunt Rose was my favorite! My mother’s sister, she was calm, kind, and she knew me from before I was born. In fact, on the day when my mother went into labor with me, Aunt Rose called the appointed neighbor with the car, and she accompanied Mom, and stayed with her at Grace-New Haven Hospital. My father was still in the service, in the Aleutian Islands.  Uncle Pete (her husband, another jewel!)  liked to tell the story about how he arrived home from work that afternoon to find their apartment empty, with curtains all over. My Aunt had forgotten to leave a note, so he waited until, hours later, she called to tell him she was safe, Mom was fine, and I was their first little niece.

Over the years, through difficult times and times of joy, Aunt Rose and I walked through this life. Sometimes I wished she were my mother, but I suppose that was because as the “niece” I could be her friend. When her son Andy died, we were able to talk to one another when cancer was not talked about. Through the years, as I went into the valley and out again, she was always there in spirit.

I felt very sad, sitting at home, unable to get out to Connecticut for her funeral. My godmother would be there. My parents were still alive. Everyone in the family who was well enough would attend, and spend the whole day together reminiscing.

The funeral Mass and burial took place on a Friday. As I was sitting at home, sadly thinking about our time together, missing her and still being so thankful for her presence in my life, the phone rang. It was my sister Annette. She was calling because she said she knew that I must be feeling lonely for not being with them. So she asked if I’d like her to tell me the details – who was there, what people said. I said, “Of course!” She told me everything she could remember. She mentioned a slideshow that was running at the funeral home from years gone by.

Annette gave me such a lovely gift, and  as I have indicated before, she if very sensitive to the gestures of love which mean so much. A couple of weeks later, copies of the pictures from the slideshow arrived and I was able to enjoy them as well.Today (Monday) is Annette’s birthday. I love my other sister very much too, but Annette has never let me forget about her gentle, ever-present, loving spirit.

About @LatelaMary

Author of 14 self-help books, five still available: Prepare Him Room, Ten Steps to Peace, Healing the Abusive Family, Moments for Mothers. Breaking the Boxes: critique of institutions vs. individuals. Work-in-progress: Memoir (Sorting out Secrets)
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