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Goodbye to Aunt Anne

Updated on January 9, 2015
Sallie Mullinger profile image

Sallie is a retired mother and grandmother who has written short stories for most of her life. Her stories are from her heart to yours.

My Aunt Anne was an inspiration to me. I wanted to be like her. She wasn't like my own Mom, even tho they were sisters. She made it easy to look up to her.

2009

As a child, possibly impressed with the movie, THE TIME MACHINE, I wanted to be a time traveler. I thought that growing up would change me. It didn't. I still, at age 58, wish I could go back in time.

The usual suspects would be my choices to visit.

All the greats of history, both ancient and medieval as well as even modern history. I would like to see the world when it was still fresh and new. I would like to go back to when my parents were young and watch them as they met and fell in love and I would love to see their dear faces as they brought me into the world.

However, lately, as I grow older, time travel is something I find myself able to do in my own mind and since the likelihood of an actual time machine is fairly unlikely, my memory (which is excellent) will have to do.

Maybe its the realization that as new ones are born, old ones die. Maybe its knowing how fleeting time really is, but I find myself remembering so much now and thanking God that I was blessed with the ability to go back in my mind’s eye to times that still can bring a smile to my face as well as a tear to my eye.

In the recesses of our minds, lie our memories and they are our key to all that we were, are now and will be in the future. Those same memories hold for all of us, the magic of being able to re-live the most important events and people in our lives.

I found out today that my Aunt Anne is dying. She is the last surviving sibling in my mother’s family of 8 original children.

She was always a rock in my mother’s family.

She was a tower for me when, as a teenager, I was left by my father’s early death, to figure out a life with an alcoholic mother. I wonder if she knew that my middle name was her birth name and that when I chose my Confirmation name, I chose Elizabeth (her middle name) so that I would be as much like her as I could be.

She was so many things that I had forgotten, but for today, I am, thankfully, remembering.

Time travel, will allow me to honor her memory for what her life was and all that her life gave mine.

ADDENDUM: She died this evening, in Hospice, peacefully. I saw her on Saturday. She wasn't aware and my feeling was that she was somehow between 2 worlds. Here with us, but trying to move on to another life. I hope she knew I was there and that I loved her.

Im pretty sure she did. I hope she knew how much she gave me...how much I leaned on her and how much her just being there got me thru those dark, dark days after my Dad died. I hope she knew that as a young girl, she made a huge impression on me. Sometimes our own mothers have less of a chance of doing that, than another woman in our lives...for me, my Aunt Anne was that woman.

Her funeral Mass would have made her happy. It was filled with beautiful, time honored hymns, and standing in that church, I sang my heart out to not only God, but to her, in honor of her strong, Catholic faith.

So, rest in peace Aunt Anne. You were the last of the Russell family, the last of 8 children. We will miss you here on earth, but I am sure you are up in heaven having a great, big family reunion.

May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind always be at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face.

And rains fall soft upon your fields.

And until we meet again...

May God hold you in the palm of his hand.


Traditionally sung at Catholic May Crowning. A favorite of hers and mine.

A reminder of my Aunt Anne and her sister, my Mom's, childhoods. They didn't have much..but they had hymns like this to help them get thru the hard times.

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    • Sallie Mullinger profile imageAUTHOR

      Sallie Mullinger 

      3 years ago from Ohio

      Better late than never!

      Thank you for your kind words!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      3 years ago from The Caribbean

      I'm late but I want to commend you for taking the time to publish a tribute to your aunt. Aunts are special. You seemed to be at peace with you loss. Hope, joy and more peace going forward!

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