Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Lasting, Loving Legacy

I learned yesterday that my great Aunt Elizabeth also known lovingly by her family and friends as "Sweetie" passed away. It was a moment of sorrow, yet thankfulness that she lived a full and beautiful life; and would have turned 95 years old this year. When I think of her, I remember going to visit her as a little girl growing up in Washington D.C. and loving to hear her voice and see her sweet smile. She wasn't dubbed "Sweetie" for nothing. She was one of 12 siblings and was quite close with my grandmother; "they were like twins" is what my mother recollects from her memories, very close to each other. My mother was filled with grief at learning of her aunt's passing and rightly so as my Aunt is one of only two siblings left from 12. I thought of the last time I'd heard my Aunt Sweetie's voice, seen her and spent time with her and I wished I could have hugged her just one more time and that my daughters could have seen her once more. My Aunt dubbed my youngest daughter, "Honey" her nickname for her younger sister; my grandmother. My Aunt Mary and my Aunt Sweetie would always say that my little one resembled their sister so much. Here is a photograph of my little one with both her aunts during the holidays a few years ago, getting some love from her Aunt Mary.

Now, my Aunt Mary is the last matriarch of the family and missing her sister so much. This week and last, we all had been talking about our Aunt Sweetie and how she loved to laugh, encourage and smile with her family. We knew she had been sick, and talking about the things we loved about her seemed to brighten our moods. She never went a day without her red lipstick and her memory was as strong as a horse. I thought of how difficult it is to be away from my family in Washington and Maryland sometime, wishing that I could spend half the year there and the other half in Florida. It's not easy to be so far away. I could feel warm tears stinging my eyes as I vowed that this would be the year that I indeed go home to spend quality time with my family. Tomorrow is not promised and we have to love with all of our hearts now; in this moment. I know my Aunt felt love from her family, perhaps it is one of many reasons why she lived so long. She had a pure heart, my aunt, and it showed in all that she did. She was a loving mother, sister, daughter, wife, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt, great aunt and friend to many. Here is a photo of her celebrating her 50th wedding anniversary with her husband and daughter.
I cherish the memories I have of my beloved Aunt, knowing that her sweet spirit is flying free now. I am also reminded of a quote that basically sums up life itself.


My family and I will truly miss this beautiful, loving and humbled woman, and all the memories we all created with her; she was truly a gift to this world. I love you, my dear Aunt...Rest in Peace,
Love Always,
Your great niece, Lisa

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