Thursday, January 6, 2011

Goodbye to my Dear Auntie

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This is a photo taken this past summer of my favorite Auntie, my Mom's baby sister Mable, who never married. I was so happy to see her again; and she was always happy to see me. I was the "weird" one in the family who liked to hug; she grew to love that about me. She passed away this morning at the age of 68 of cancer.
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I have wonderful childhood memories of weekends spent with my Nanny Beck. Coming from a household with 5 children, it was a place of quiet and happiness for me. There were French mints under the bed pillow, books in the bookshelf (and time for me to read them), black currant bushes to be picked in the back yard (25 cents a pint!), and long talks with my Nanny while we cooked or cleaned together. At 5:30 pm, my Aunt Mable would come home from working at Woolworths. She seemed to be surrounded by an air of feminine mystique -- the kind that this gangly, buck-toothed 10 yr old aspired to be. She was all Jackie Kennedy Channel-style suits, handbags and gloves, pretty back-combed hair always in place, wafts of perfume and tidy kitten-heeled shoes. Sometimes while she was at work, I would go into forbidden territory -- her bedroom. I'd touch the pink quilted comforter & put my nose to the pillow shams; I could smell her dusting powder. I'd try on her selection of heels behind the door or poke through her jewellry box with the fur Poodle broach and pearls. I know she must have noticed that I was there, but she never said anything.
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She nursed both my grandparents through ill health and death. And I'm glad to say that she then lived most contentedly in the pretty dollhouse that was once the family home. We had become very good friends over the past 6-8 years: there was music and laughter whenever I visited; and during our long-distance telephone conversations, she confided things in me that she told few people. I knew her to be a woman of love, compassion, forgiveness and deep faith. She will be greatly missed.
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I'm a woman of little financial means; so I can't fly to NL to be there on Saturday for the funeral. But I'll be thinking of her as she's laid to rest next to my dear Nanny. And I'll be thinking of my Mom as she mourns her last sister and her best friend.
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For tonight, I'll continue to think on her and our times together. And in her honor, I'll do something that I know would bring a smile to her face. I'll sit over a glass of wine and eat "Beaver Poop" (chocolate nut toffee), a gift that just arrived today from my penpal in Oregon. I can hear her laughing at the Beaver poop as she says "Oh Sandra!"
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13 comments:

Blondee said...

I am very sorry for your loss. Your sweet Aunt sounds as though she truly helped shape some lovely childhood memories, and the lady you are today.

Thinking of you. :(

Hugs from NY.

NanaDiana said...

Oh- I have tears in my eyes as I finihsed this post. It is always sad to lose anyone but especially sad to lose someone that has such fond childhood memories attached. I know you will mourn her loss long past the time of the funeral. I am glad there is some comfort in knowing that she is close now to your dear Nanny.

I am saying a little prayer for you tonight that you may feel a peace in her passing and know that she has gone before you to light the way when it is your time to see her again (at least that is my belief...although may not be your own). Hugs, sweet SANDRA- Diana

Barb said...

Such a lovely tribute full of fond memories. Such a life is sure to be missed.

Nezzy said...

Oh sweetie, my heart goes out to you. I pray that God will give you such peace and joy in your memories.

What a wonderful tribute you have written and I'm sure she's makin' some laughter racket in Heaven at your Beaver Poop.

I know you will miss her and when ya do just picture her dancin' with Jesus.

God bless and know my prayers are with your family.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Very sad news. Your Auntie Mabel sounds like a wonderful woman, independent of spirit and means at a time when working outside the home was still not common. I'm glad you had such a good relationship with her. My condolences.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

I can read the loe you had for her! I am so sorry for you loss and know you and all your family are in my prayers. Enjoy the 'beaver poop' and a toast to your sweet Aunt Mable.

Garden of Egan said...

That is such a beautiful tribute to your sweet Auntie. You describe her so well that I could smell her comforter and powders.

I wish you could be with her.
I know she feels your presences.

Hugs to you!

Liane said...

Oh, I'm so sorry for your loss of your beloved auntie. She sounds like a wonderful woman and she obviously meant so much to you. May you be comforted by the sweet memories that you have of the time you spent together.
This is a beautiful tribute....

From the Kitchen said...

What a great way to remember your dear aunt--wine and beaver poop. It sounds like both of you enjoyed a sense of humor together.

My condolences.

Best,
Bonnie

ethelmaepotter! said...

Oh, I am so sorry that your beautiful Aunt is gone, but just think how your life waa enriched by her presence. And I'm sure she felt the same way about you.
Okay now Sandy, have you been in my playroom upstairs? Browsing in the bookcase of all my old books from childhood? Because I have BOTH those books! And even in those editions! (Although Trixie I do also have in the larger hardback, too.)

That is scary.

My Grama's Soul said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your loss....Aunt's are truly special souls given to us in our lives...your memories of here will enrich your life forever.

Xo,

Jo

wendy said...

Oh dang, it is so hard to loose those people we love so much. I know you are wishing you could be there with your mom. I also believe your dear aunt KNOWS you are thinking of her and cherishing those wonderful memories.
that's what I think

janjan said...

Eat your beaver poop and celebrate the life of a wonderful women. Give thanks for having had her love and caring. Gather all your wonderful memories of her, they are yours and will never leave you.
Blessings my new friend from one OOW to another.