Dear friends, I have been away so long. A lifetime. You might say I’ve been in another state.
I went to Detroit to say goodbye to my Aunt Loena.
They say for everything there is a season, but how can one ever be prepared for the last goodbye?
At her funeral we connected with cousins we hadn’t seen for ages, and did what we could to help Loena’s kids, who’d generously shared their mom with us over the years.
I fulfilled a promise I’d made to my aunt, to help her clean out her craft room. We brought baskets of ornaments she’d sewn for friends to take home as keepsakes, which would’ve pleased her.
Aunt Millie brought notebooks and pens, and encouraged people to share their stories of Loena for her kids to read and treasure, perhaps when their hearts are not so sore.
Saying goodbye is hard. Aunt Loena said Mom always told her, “Whatever happens, we won’t cry. We’ll smile, kiss the kids goodbye, and stop the car around the corner to do our crying.” I still cry when I think of her, which is often. Everything I might say or write feels trivial, so I’ve said and written very little.
If you’re the praying sort, as she was, please say one for her. Better yet, an act of kindness would be the most appropriate way to honor a compassionate woman, who devoted her life to the care and service of others.
Thank you for your patience. When I find my center once again, I’ll stop by to see what all my blogging buddies have been up to. For now, here are some stories about my loving, funny, good-natured Aunt Loena, my other mother, who always had room in her heart for everyone.
As You Like It: Reflections Upon Life and the Art of Aging.
Painting by Charles Willson Peale, 1822, The Lamplight Portrait.
All words and images, except where stated, copyright 2015 Naomi Baltuck.
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