Monday, November 1, 2010

All Saints: aunts

I've been thinking about two of my aunts on this All Saints Day--Aunt Lois and Aunt Nancy.

I think about Aunt Lois during October because I always get out this pumpkin that she made for me years ago.

Aunt Lois was an avid crafter. She even made money at it--going to craft shows around the Cleveland area to sell hand-sewn teddy bears and other things. I think she probably did it as much for the joy of crafting as for the money!

Though she worked full-time at a bank for most of her life, I always think of her as the consummate domestic goddess. She was a stay-at-home mom with her three daughters, and she always seemed to love that. My mom was always amazed at her memory of each child's developing personality and odd little stories.

Later, she took care of others, too--her aging mother and then my parents once they got sick. She loved driving, so enjoyed driving my parents around in a van--they liked it, too. She enjoyed visiting with me and my family when we came to Cleveland--she had a special way with kids, and my sons enjoyed her company. But I think her favorite care-giving was the time she spent with her grandsons. She was visiting them when she died on Christmas Eve night almost 2 years ago.

I've also been thinking of my Aunt Nancy, who passed away last fall. I dreamed of her the other night. In the dream, I was at some sort of family gathering--all I really remember was going up to Aunt Nancy and hugging her. I love having dreams like that.

Ever since I visited Aunt Nancy and Uncle Vern back when I was a grad student (I had a conference in Southern California--how fortunate!), I've felt particularly close to her. I had such a nice visit there. When Aunt Nancy took me to church, one church lady said I "looked like I could be her daughter." She shared stories about my great-grandmother and her growing-up days.

She always remembered to send me birthday cards, and I tried to remember her, too. I always looked forward to taking my family to California someday, and especially to a long visit with her and Uncle Vern. I hope we'll still visit California, but I'll feel the loss of Aunt Nancy when I visit.

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