This is a bad season for the elderly of our family.
My Aunt Janet died yesterday. She was the aunt whom I spent the most time with growing up. When I was little, she scared me to death because she could be tough, and, let’s be honest, a wee bit ornery. As I grew older, I began to appreciate all she had done with her life, including leaving an abusive marriage back in the day when most women couldn’t leave, and doing a great job raising my cousin, and taking care of my grandparents in their old age. She was always volunteering with church, and teaching people how to read. She made great tuna fish sandwiches. She was a classy dame with an Irish temper and a mind like a steel trap. She is/was/is one of my heroes.
The biggest impact she had on me was with books. There were not many books in my house growing up, and those that we had were mostly religious texts (Dad was a minister). Aunt Janet never lived in a big house, or a grand apartment, but wherever she lived, she had shelves and shelves of books. I used to stare at her bookshelves and drool. She showed me that books were good and important and worth dedicating a part of your life to.
She had one of the best laughs in the North Country.
I miss her wicked.
PS – Alert to everyone I know. I call a “No Dying Week”. If you have to die, you need to reschedule it until a week from today, at the earliest.