Just when life seems to be humming along, you get hit sideways by a train barreling down the tracks.
Hubs’ aunt passed away suddenly, taken without warning.
Sucks for me because she was a close pal. I knew that I could pick up the phone and have a long-winded chat with her and would be exhausted by the end from laughing so hard.
I had talked with her recently, and we laughed a lot about all the funny experiences she had had over the years with her family.
As one of seven children (like myself), she always felt like she stuck out like a sore thumb because her brothers and sisters were are quite petite folks. She was a full-figured gal, and a head taller than the rest.
“I couldn’t sit next to them at a picnic table ’cause the end where I sat would always plonk on the ground while those little runts of brothers and sisters would fly off the other end!”
She always joked about her weight and how if one of them came to talk to her she’d have to move her bosom out of the way to see them.
Having had a slight heart problem over the years, she finally managed to get it repaired a couple of years ago.
Her doctor was having a hard time getting the x-rays done and made a comment about her breasts.
“Well,” she said, “they’re the same size as my husband’s coat.”
“What’s that?” the doctor asked.
“Forty four long!”
She was always well groomed, very particular about her hair and her makeup, and looked far younger than her 74 years. She easily looked like a woman in her late 40s or early 50s, without any plastic surgery.
“It’s all the fat,” she would say. “Fills in the wrinkles nicely, dontcha think?”
Her passions in life were her grandchildren first, and making candy second.
She was an excellent grandma, and made the most divine candies. When she felt like she was stressed out, she would spend the afternoon dipping chocolates.
We were the lucky recipients.
“Here is a box of chocolate covered marshmallows. I made these when I got mad at Gordon for not taking me out to dinner.”
“Oh, goody! Don’t get her anything for Valentine’s Day, Gordon. I want some of those licorice caramels she makes!”
You could always count on Gay for surprise treats.
Her grandchildren found a warm and cozy place when they went to spend time with her. She was always very encouraging and supportive, when others didn’t seem to give a whit.
Her youngest daughter’s four kids were the light of her life, even though she loved all of her grandkids, these particular kids were very special to her. All of them brilliantly smart, to the point of weird/genius level, who had a hard time fitting in, would always breathe a sigh of relief when they were at Grandma’s house.
They will surely suffer for not only losing such an important influence in their lives, but also the most reliable safety net they’ve ever known.
Most of what I know about Hubs’ family I learned from her.
She had some of the funniest stories about taking care of her mother, who had Alzheimer’s, and the many crazy episodes that occurred over the course of the years with her, such as Mother complaining about “that woman who comes in and steals” her underwear.
One episode was about Gay and her two sisters sitting and talking with their mother, when Mother looked at them and smiled, saying, “You girls all seem to get along so well. Have you known each other long?”
Now her oldest sister is also in the early stages of dementia and makes similar comments. She didn’t seem to realize that Gay was her sister, commenting that it was nice of Gay to come over and do her dishes.
“Well, Marge, it’s cause you’re my sister!”
“Oh, you aren’t my sister. I never had a sister as big as you!”
Gay said to me, “I wanted to dunk that little woman in the toilet.”
Laugh? You know I did.
Thank goodness I’ve got so many fond memories of her.
She was one of the funniest people I’ve ever met, and I will treasure the blessing I had to know her.
I hope that these little snippets made you laugh too, ’cause she would love that.