My mother came from a family of 13 children. I guess they didn't have birth control back then. She was the third from the youngest. A girl and a boy were born after her. My mom and her younger sister were very close growing up and in the years following after their marriages and births of their children. They did a lot together........shopping, celebrating holidays together, talking and sharing secrets on the phone, etc.
In fact, they were so close that one would pick up the phone to call the other one and she would already be on the line without the phone every having rung! They used to laugh about this and tell us that they were so close that they must be communicating telepathically and just thinking of each other would make them both want to call each other at the same time. That is the explanation they always gave for this phenomenal and frequent happening! Whatever the explanation, they did seem to sense things going on in the others life without being told.
I remember when my mother had been hospitalized for the last six months of her life with something the doctors could never figure out or give a name to. My aunt, my cousins told me, was napping on the couch in her living room about 10 miles away from the hospital when she sat up on the couch as if someone had pushed her to a sitting position and announced to them that my mother had just passed away! Needless to say, they thought she had been having a dream. I called their house a few minutes later with the news and the time of my mothers passing. I tell this fact so you will better understand my sorrow.
I received a phone call this evening at 8:33 PM. My cousin was on the phone. She wanted to tell me that her mother, my aunt, had passed away tonight at 7:55 PM. She was 86 years old last July. She lived a long and happy life! She is now reunited with her husband, her parents and all of her siblings! What a joyous reunion that must have been! To be greeted at the entrance to heaven by those you love, and to see the faces of your brothers and sisters once again. I can only imagine the feelings of love and happiness that my aunt and mother must be experiencing this night.
I have mixed feelings as I deal with this news. Part of me is very happy for my aunt and my mother. Part of me is feeling very sad. You see, this aunt kind of filled in for my mother (it was an understanding they had between them) after my mother's death. She didn't become my mother....no one can ever replace another human being.....but she became a "stand-in" mother to my two sisters and me. And since our families were extremely close emotionally to one another and we spent every holiday together and lots of vacations together I am having some trouble. As I watch the fire in the fireplace I am reminded of the camping vacations and being outside in the evenings watching the fireflies flitting through the night like the sparks now rising up the chimney.
If I close my eyes I can hear the laughter and smell the marshmellows roasting over the open fire. And then I am transported by my memories of Aunt Annette's pumpkin and pecan pie at Thanksgiving. No one could make pecan pie like Aunt Annette! And the Christmases spent with her. And how she searched and searched to find just the right gift for each of us and if she couldn't find exactly what she was looking for, she would make it or craft it herself! I remember when my first child was born and how Aunt Annette came to the house when I came home from the hospital with this beautiful baby girl in my arms so unsure of what to do and being reassured by my aunt that my instincts would take over and not to worry!
I remember the way she held me up after the death of my first husband, the father of my children. The strength she was able to give me.....that feeling that said "I can go on"!
So, to you Aunt Annette......"we can go on" and we will! But my dear Auntie, we will miss you!