Monday, February 03, 2014

Lady of Letters

This is my dear Aunt Helen from Dallas, who recently passed away. She would have been 102 years old today. She is my last tie to my mother's side of the family. She was the oldest of three sisters and my mother was the baby of the family. My mother died fairly young and has been gone for almost 38 years, so Aunt Helen has been like a second mother to me. Aunt Helen said that when I was born my mother told her she would share me with her, since my Aunt never had a daughter of her own. Little did anyone know all those years ago, that truer words would ever be spoken! 

Aunt Helen and my mother were very close and they shared the love of letter writing. Once my mother passed away I continued the tradition. We must have exchanged thousands of letters between us. She loved to correspond with people and she looked forward to receiving letters from them as well. Writing letters seems to be a lost art these days, but like my Aunt I quite enjoy it. It was a special bond we had with each other and I certainly am going to miss that now. I treasure all her letters, which were always so uplifting and supportive and funny too. About 10 years ago I began to save every card and letter she sent, thinking that once she turned 90 her letter writing days could end at any time. Little did I know that we would continue to write to each other for almost 12 more years! 

Family was always so important to my Aunt. She would share stories of growing up with my mother and my grandparents and I loved that so much. When I was a young girl and she would come for a visit, we would sleep in the same room and talk endlessly in the darkened room until one or the other of us would eventually fall asleep. We often laughed until we cried at some of the funny stories she would tell me. Now that Aunt Helen is gone, I need to start writing some of those stories down while I can still remember them. I probably could fill an entire book because there were so many of them! 

It makes me sad to think that Aunt Helen is gone now, but I am comforted by the thought that she is reunited with her dear husband, her sisters and my grandparents. I'm sure they are probably all sitting around laughing reminiscing about the good old days!

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