Goodbye Aunt Marie

My Aunt Marie died of cancer on Sunday, Jan. 25. I will not be attending her funeral, but I still want to honor her memory, and I have decided to do so here. She was my maternal grandmother’s sister, so “Aunt” is probably not the correct title; however, that is how I have always known her. She was also our next-door neighbor for more than 20 years.

She had been diagnosed with cancer only a few days before she passed. It was a shock when Mom called to tell me that she was gone, but she did not suffer. She lived a long and full life, and she enjoyed it to the end. She was boisterous and generous, especially to her family, and faithfully attended Saturday afternoon mass.

She grew up in a farming family, and lived in a small part of Western Wisconsin for her entire life. Her roots are deep here, and so are the memories of her in and around town. I suspect the crowed at her funeral will be large and full of happy memories. In her retirement, she traveled to many parts of this nation, including the Grand Canyon. I suspect she has seen more of the US than I have!

She lost her husband Carol several years ago. I look forward to seeing them both in eternity.

It is ironic that she would be memorialized in a blog. She was old enough to remember the first time her mother switched on electric lights in their house, and she saw me fly halfway around the world to Australia and back. I suppose the appearance of her picture and name in a medium so foreign to her shows how far one person’s smile, love, and generosity can truly extend.

My mother mentioned that even the director of the funeral home remarked on how much Aunt Marie would be missed. A wise man, possibly Mark Twain, once said, “Life your life in such a way that when you die, even the undertaker will be sad.” She did.

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