My Aunt Marion is going to be 97, Lord willing, two days after I see her on the evening of the 23rd. I finally got ahold of my cousin and we have made arrangements to meet at Marion's the evening before the Higher Things conference. I was afraid this wasn't going to work out and I would miss the chance of seeing her but....yippee! It is working.
I have always had a fond place in my heart for Marion. She is my grandmother's sister. My favorite memories are going to her farm and visiting. Her home to me was my image of the perfect family home, atmosphere and everything. She had five kids, was as faithful a church attender as I've ever met and her kids seemed close and still do. Perhaps I was more inclined to a larger family thanks to her and her husband Leanard. Leanard died two years ago now. I loved him too. They sent the best letters to me through the years. I remember the last time I saw him, he talked a blue streak and was amazed that we had canned 200 quarts of green beans that summer. Every time I open a jar of green beans, I think of Leanard. Charley always enjoyed talking with him as well.
I remember going to my grandmother's funeral with Marion and boy could she get around. She was eighty years old that year and we drove in an older vehicle with the flip down front seat to get into the back seat. She climbed in like a teen-ager. We talked about how the liturgy was being tossed aside and how it grieved her and her husband. She was missing it at their church. I am not sure if they stayed at that church or not. I suppose I could ask her daughter. It was that conversation which stuck with me as well and I have no doubt influenced my love for the liturgy. We all pray we won't be eighty and have no liturgy to go to. Yikes.
So......I may get to see her again. She looks so much like my grandmother. It will be bittersweet to see her. Jean says she still gets around but it is exhausting and I know she wants to be with her husband. I am her sister's only granddaughter so I do suppose that means something to her. I also hold dear memories of her other sisters, Hazel and Vera. I don't remember much about Vera as she was sort of sickly but Hazel was warm and wonderful. She wrote to me faithfully. It is the end of an era.
If time allows I would not mind getting directions to my grandma's burial site. Dad's dad and sister are there as well. I have not been there ever as she died in the winter....in Minnesota. We didn't make it to the actual burial. I guess that will mean getting more directions but since we are up that way it would be worth the effort.
So.....we shall see if I see her.