My aunt died this week. My mom only had one brother. Because I grew up just four blocks away from him and my Aunt Barbara, I feel that my second mom has passed away.
Because I had two girl cousins that were close to my own age, I spent a lot of time in their home. Aunt Barbara was always kind and patient as we played everything from dress up in her upstairs playroom, to soccer and hide and seek in her beautifully manicured backyard.
Except for my dad’s homemade ice cream, hers was the best I have ever eaten. And her chocolate bundt cakes were my favorite!
I rarely remember seeing my mother cry, but one of those times was when she learned that Aunt Barbara had miscarried. Babies were near and dear to my mom…and so was Aunt Barbara.
We spent holidays and birthdays with their family. The traditions our families shared are rich with memory, and I am reminded just how vital…yes, I mean vital, families are to provide strength, encouragement, and a sense of belonging.
I was in the home of a good friend when I received the phone call telling me about my aunt’s passing. As I ended the phone call my thoughts and conversation turned to family and the tender feelings I have for my aunt and her family. Tears were shed, not by me, but my good friend. As I comforted her I realized that the experiences I’ve had with my family have been a stark contrast to hers. Her mom and sisters don’t speak to her. Her memories are of anger, greed, lies and deceit.
How the world would change if everyone could understand the importance of family. I am reminded of the words I have heard so often:
“The most important work we will ever do is within the walls of our homes.”
“The most important cause of our lifetime is our family.”
Good memories are the glue that holds families together. I look forward to visiting about those good memories with siblings, cousins, my uncle and mom as we come together this week to celebrate the life of a very good woman.