75 Years Young.
It seems lately that death has come knocking far too often. It wears me down and fills my anxiety prone heart with too many thoughts. Over the past year I have witnessed family, friends, relatives of friends, and friends of soul mates leave with still so much left to give. The latest being my Aunt Mary. She died last Tuesday morning from complications from a stroke. She was a nurse, wife, mother, grandmother, sister and Aunt. For me she was pizza night, an artist, and a car siren on her LeBaron. The beach. Lake Huron. Sun, sand, and extremely cold water. She was a Frisbee from Hershey Pennsylvania, Marvel Comics, and our link to Grosse Pointe. She was also my Mother’s partner in crime.
She was one of the few family that made the trip to see us when Julie and I lived in Atlanta. One of the handful that have visited us here in New York. One of the few that really understood our family, and when we told our children of her passing… there was pause. Remembrance. Loss. My heart breaks for my cousins and their children.
Every summer, as a child, we’d go to her cottage in Lexington, Michigan, and between lake swims we’d take long walks on dirt road streets that usually led to the corner store. There, my brother’s and I used our paper route money to buy penny candy and Faygo Creme Soda, or played the arcade video game Joust. Summer vacations were defined by rummy, crickets, tree frogs and the sounds of the Lake Huron surf.
Yesterday we went back to my Aunt Mary’s cottage in Lexington, on the shores of Lake Huron where I spent so much time as a kid. (The above photo is my view from the beach) We went presumably for the last time to pay our respects. There was a small funeral early Friday morning which Julie the kids and I were not able to attend. However, later that day we were able to join up with my extended family, and reminisce. Some cried, some laughed, we marveled at how much our children have grown.
My mother brought dozens of paper lanterns for us to light and release. (Similar to the ones in the animated film Tangled) We all wrote notes to Aunt Mary, lit the candles and watched them lift upward over the dark evening skies of Lake Huron. It was a final scene straight out of a summer movie. And it was both a heartbreaking and wonderful moment. My Aunt Mary was a good soul. To my three children, a Great Aunt.
Well, even to me she was a: Great. Aunt. And she will be missed.