Sunday, May 3, 2009

You Make the Weeping Willow Tree Smile

Though her house was full of her own children, barking dogs, slamming screen doors, neighbors in for coffee, and endless cooking, there was always room and time for the cousins. Interested and excited by the details of our lives, she was the Queen of Questions: "What are you reading? What do you think of it? Was that pretty sad? Did you just feel so happy when you heard that? What is your favorite....? How did you decide that?"

The Queen of Questions was also the Duchess of Delight: "Let's build a swimming pool in the back yard. Get a shovel. Maybe we could use the long picnic table for a game of Billy Goats Gruff...who wants to be the Troll? I bet there's a way to make Chocolate Popsicles. Better yet, let's all march down the hill for ice cream cones. And on the way back let's throw a few m&m's in the creek for good luck!"

Or the Mistress of Mischief..packing the younger kids in the slightly cracked trunk of the car to sneak into the fair after teaching the older kids how to cross the creek and sneak in on foot. Or the Wizard of Wonder, waking us up in the middle of the night to stand at the window to watch the flames against the distant horizon as the Oneida Market burned to the ground.

Everyone's favorite English Teacher, she loves good books, the theater and edgy movies: "LR - I think we should see this movie - it's just out, not really reviewed yet- but let's be the first- it's called - The Graduate!" She loves parades parties, fireworks, marching bands and airshows. She put a bit of glitter on every minute of every day. She has been our very own Auntie Mame.

Making memories has been her vocation, her magic, her gift. And she gave it all she had. All she had. At eighty five, my always lovely, once lively Aunt now struggles to remember. She cries out with fear and frustration. She can't grasp that she has created a precious and treasured legacy. She doesn't know that she can't lose my memories.


Tabor said...

This post is so bittersweet...she was a lovely woman and we all should have someone like her in our lives.

Ralph said...

Absolutely beautiful. She lives on your memory and now in ours. Thank you.

Helen said...

I loved this tribute to your amazing Auntie .... so fortunate to have had this incredible 'force of nature' in your life.

One Woman's Journey said...

Beautiful. What a legacy she left.
My much loved Aunt at 95 passed away last month. Oh the memories.
They do not realize what they are leaving behind. Thinking of you.

Susan said...

Heart wrenching yet eloquently spoken.