Monday, April 21, 2008

Aunt C.

I learned late yesterday that my Aunt C. passed away Sunday morning, died much like my mom (her sister) did eleven years ago: in her sleep. Aunt C. was 55.

I don't suffer it alone, and it's yet uncertain whether I will hop a flight to KC for the funeral on Wednesday (or jump in a rental and motor across Google Maps). That decision will be settled before today is up. Mostly I am sad for her children--my cousins, especially so because two of them are in high school. This is an aunt who I was very close to when I was young. She was my mother's younger sister by four years, an RN whose uncanny sense of humor ruled our many hours together in the late 1970s. She was the one who dressed up as a witch on one of those first Halloweens so that when we trick-or-treated the rural farm house she rented and she jumped out at us unsuspecting on her back steps, I was so undone that I fell off of the porch.

This aunt, Aunt C., was the one who crushed up the Children's Tylenol and made it magically vanish into mac and cheese because I would gag when faced with half of a pink chewable. Thinking she'd won because I ate the whole bowl of macaroni, she told me about how she'd backdoored the medicine into my system. Of course, I threw up (I cannot say whether it was out of stubbornness or disgust).

A nurse, right? She gave me the board game Operation for my sixth or seventh birthday, but there was no scotch tape around my grandparents' house, so she used Elmer's glue to hold down the wrapping paper. Do you know what happens when you put Elmer's glue on wrapping paper? Next I carried the dye-leaking package on my lap for the duration of the car ride from West Branch to Mt. Pleasant.

I'll likely follow this rushed panegyric with a lull for the duration of a long, blue drive to Missouri to reflect upon and celebrate her life.

Bookmark and Share Posted by at April 21, 2008 10:20 PM to Under a Bushel

You have such wonderful memories of Aunt C. I'm sorry for your loss, Derek.

Posted by: billie at April 21, 2008 11:01 PM

My sincere condolences. What a wonderful tribute to your aunt. She sounds terrific.

Posted by: Becky Howard at April 22, 2008 7:03 AM

My condolences. She sounds like a wonderful woman.

Posted by: Chris Geyer at April 22, 2008 8:05 AM

I'm also very sorry. It's so wonderful to have an aunt like this.

Posted by: jenny at April 22, 2008 8:53 AM

Your memories are beautiful. I am sorry for your loss.

Posted by: Tamika at April 22, 2008 7:29 PM

My condolences, Derek. Take care.

Posted by: Donna at April 22, 2008 11:25 PM

Everyone should have an Aunt C in their lives--she sounds like a wonderful person, and I am so sorry for your loss.

Posted by: joanna at April 24, 2008 1:33 PM

Dot/Derek...I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your loved one. My thoughts are with you.

Posted by: Samantha from KC at April 24, 2008 4:38 PM

Condolences, Derek.

Be well.

Posted by: Jim Brown at April 24, 2008 5:28 PM

Sorry for the loss of your aunt. It sounds as if there is much to celebrate in her young life.

Posted by: Jo at April 24, 2008 9:17 PM

I'm sorry to hear of your loss. I hope her passing was as peaceful as it sounds.

Posted by: AJ from HU211DL at April 25, 2008 12:24 PM

I'm so sorry for your loss--she sounds like a wonderful woman.

Posted by: Susan at April 25, 2008 10:28 PM

Thanks, everyone, for the kind thoughts. Ph. and I are safely home again from the four-day, 2,600 mile trip, a bit road weary, but all the better for a day and a half with family and friends in KC.

Posted by: Derek at April 27, 2008 10:39 AM