The passing of my aunt in California was one which I was prepared for but still got blind sided when getting the text hours later.
Aunt Andi was my grandmother's first born daughter, my mom's big sis, Uncle Pete's wife of 57 years, mother to two boys and an only girl, my cuz Carol.
Born in Illinois in 1931 passing in 2009. She and Uncle Pete were married since 1952 which would have been 57 years this year. They are the 2nd longest married relatives I know to be in my family in my life time. Just short a year from my great grandparents James and Vercie Sargent who were married 58 years.
My earliest memory of Aunt Andi was just after my folk were separated/divorced and mom moved with her two young daughters into her sister's home . Tho two families under the same roof for how many year, I don't know. Mom, my younger sis and me lived in the first bedroom on the right down the hall.
While there, I started school, became a brownie, spent some really memorable Christmas' I still have found thoughts of her every time I make a peanut butter/jelly sandwich. The cousins which were just the boys spent a lot of time as "the BIG ones and LITTLE ones"(inside joke, only the four of us would understand). We had our own adventures in and around that house and neighbor hood. Climbing trees and eating doggie snacks (don't ask, I am sure you did something as gross as that back in the days of youth!) How about all the times going to the school and seeing who could swing on the swings the highest AND then JUMPING out just as you got to the highest point.
I remember the time the four of us "daredevils" went to a local strawberry patch which was being turned into some building so the neighbor kids went and picked the last harvest and with four of us and two buckets each, like the 5gallon buckets FULL of strawberries and brought them home to Aunt Andi . I don't think she was to happy, but she cleaned them up and packed them all in the freezer. By the way, once mom got home, she got half of them ...to give away , to do something with. To this day, this might be why I don't like strawberries anything.
Christmas time was full of smells , the food, the treats, and even the candle making. I see Aunt Andi as the original Suzy Homemaker. The one Christmas that stands out was the year, actually just a few days before my youngest cuz carol came into our lives. Tho aunt Andi was confined to bed, she did come out to rest on the couch watching the 4 of us kids opening the gifts one by one from the youngest to the oldest. The youngest were the three under the oldest which was me. No fun for yours truly but she got a kick out of it I am sure.
There are a lot of fond memories but those I have of her now are the phone calls we have shared the past several years. I do plan to continue those calls to keep in touch with Uncle Pete for as long as I can.
Rest in peach, no more pain , you are now in heaven with grandma and mom. Will see you when I get there!