Friday, November 11, 2011

Checking In, and a Tribute

The last 2 weeks have been overwhelming - both in the number of things I've had to get accomplished, and in emotion.  I had report cards, 3 parent meetings, and two doctor appointments above and beyond all the usual business.  One of the dr appointments was just a routine visit, but the second was a visit to a podiatrist to have a very painful ingrown toenail taken care of.  It had been bothering me for several months -- silly me didn't know what it was until I saw my primary care physician for my annual physical.  Then I had to wait for an appointment.  The podiatrist claimed it was one of the worst cases he'd seen!  All I know is that by the time I got to see him, I couldn't wear most of my shoes, and I had trouble walking.  It was not a pleasant procedure, but now it's over.  My toe is still tender and sore, but it's a healing pain, and nothing compared to the agony I was feeling.

The really tough part of the last 2 weeks is that one of the dearest people in the world to me passed away.  My aunt was 92, and she had been failing for quite a while so we knew it was coming.  It doesn't make it any easier thought.  She was more than an aunt to me.  As my mom's older sister she substituted in my mind for my grandmother.  (The only grandparent I knew died when I was almost 6.)  Growing up we lived in the same town, and my mom and her sister spent part of everyday together.  I was in and out of my aunt's house daily, and when I was in college I lived with her.  By that time we'd moved several states away but I'd returned to CT for college and became an in-state student.  My cousins were more my big sister and brother than cousins.  My aunt was also the matriarch of our family, and she was stickler for etiquette, courtesy, and integrity.  As the family historian and memorykeeper, she will be missed.  One of my fondest memories was a daytrip my aunt and I took one weekend when I was in college.  We went to Stonington, CT from where part of our family hails.  She showed me the house that had belonged to my grandfather, and where our Revolutionary War ancestor had lived.  We visited the family cemetery there too.  She took 16mm movies of me in front of the family mausoleum and our ancestors' gravesites. We finished the afternoon with a very elegant meal at a harborside French restaurant, dining on Coquilles St. Jac and white wine.  It was a lovely day.

As the family historian and genealogist she made sure we were aware of our family's past.  (hence the above-mentioned trip). She was a diehard DAR lady, serving in local and state offices, and every year she reminded her nieces that it was time to get our DAR dues in.  (We were enrolled in CAR as babies, and when we were old enough, she made sure we stayed put as DAR members.  I have to admit that as a child I did go to CAR meetings and had a ball, but I've only attended 2 meetings as an adult!  I will keep my membership current though as a tribute to her.)

She was also a business woman.  Her husband had a printing business. My aunt was the "front office", handling all the customer service, inventory,  and bookkeeping.  I spent several summers working in the office with her and also filling in for her when one summer, she and my uncle, took their first vacation in 25 years.  In between she taught Sunday school, provided leadership in the historical society, the hospital auxiliary, DAR, and  she raised her own 2 children, as well as helped raise assorted nephews and nieces!  What a woman!

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