My grandmother died yesterday. Well, Aunt Joan wasn't technically my grandmother, but when my technical grandmother made no move to acquaint herself with us, Aunt Joan was there with her heart and arms open like always.

Aunt Joan was one of the kindest, most giving people I have ever known. When she believed that she may have won the lottery (or publisher's clearing house, we're not really clear on what was going on) she wanted to give my parents money to fix the roof. She didn't want them to pay her back, even though they insisted. In the end she didn't win, but that was okay too.

Almost Every Halloween up until her breathing became very difficult we would trick-or-treat in her neighborhood because the curfew was later than ours. Then we would come back to her house, eat dinner, and commence the candy swap. The swap is a traditional part of our halloween celebrations, where we would lay out our stash and sort through and prioritize everything. What we didn't like got traded, and Aunt Joan was always keen to eye up our piles for anything she liked. And, as she got older and less likely to eat candy, she would mediate our little scuffles over what was and wasn't a fair trade.

I am so lucky to have had a person like my Aunt Joan in my life, to have someone who could tell me family stories, share her experiences with me. I regret never knitting her a pair of socks, but perhaps I can get a pair together before the funeral.

I will miss you for all my life. Rest well, Aunt Joan. You deserve it.

My love for you burns deep
Inside me, so strong.
Embers of times we had;
And now I stand here lost in memory,
I see your face and smile.
Oh how I love you so, lost in those memories.
And now you've gone;
I feel the pain, feeling like a fool,
~Yoko Kanno "Adieu"


Owl Chick said...

Hugs, Kate :( She sounds like a lovely woman to have known.

Roxie said...

I'm so sorry. Hugs and hugs.

Donna Lee said...

I had a hard time reading this the other day (not that it's much easier today). She loved you, too. So very much.