Earlier in the week, I woke up with an overwhelming and unusual feeling of sadness. I sort of knew why I was sad but not why on that particular day. As I sat emptying my bladder, my arms were dampened by moisture. Teardrops. A steady stream of quiet and uncontrollable tears. It just happened, and I couldn’t stop the flow. I didn’t make a decision to make it a “get it all out” moment. It just naturally came about.
The root of the lingering blahs and heavy heart stem from the death of my beloved Aunt Annie. Her unexpected and sudden departure occurred four months ago. Thanksgiving and Christmas are near. I know from experience that the holiday season is a difficult time for those grieving the loss of loved ones. Her infectious enthusiasm and spark for life were everything!! Growing up, she and her sisters hosted the mini-army sized family dinners. The spread was incredible. Friends could not believe how much food was prepared. 100 biscuits, a dozen pies, half-dozen cakes, several oversized pans of her original home-made baked beans, baked macaroni & cheese, and more.
Still, at nearly 80 years old, Annie called to affectionally ask, “What do you want for Christmas?” Last year, my response was the same as the previous years, “Thank you, auntie!! I don’t want anything; I just want to enjoy the time with my family.” Auntie loved Christmas. As far back as I can remember, I recall her Christmas shopping with my mother and a few other sisters. Like on Oprah’s talk show, everybody gets a gift!! You get one!! You get one! And you get one!! Lol!!
Like overgrown roots bulging from underground, the colorful and beautifully wrapped presents spread out under the bright Christmas tree and beyond. Her son (Curtis) and I would sneak glances at the gifts to figure out The Who’s and what’s. We knew not to touch.
For the past 20 years, I took the torch and hosted the holiday dinners at my house, but today our family is much smaller. I was considering halting the tradition, making reservations at a local restaurant and taking care of dinner for everyone. However, I realize doing this would be selfish. Auntie would not approve of this, so with mixed emotions, and Thanksgiving being 12 days away, I’ve begun to prepare for the festivities.
I was at Auntie’s home early this morning and felt a profound sense of peace. In July, she took her last breath at home and in her bed. Her spirit is alive in the house. Going to her bedroom and saying a quick hello has become a ritual. 🙂 The house is known as The Mission, historically provided meals, clothes, shelter, nurturing, counseling, entertainment, love, and lots of tender loving care to anyone who visited. As I write this, I just realized that unconsciously I’ve tried to replicate the same with our home. She taught me so much, and for that I am grateful.
I took the beautiful pictures below this morning from auntie’s yard. I wanted to lay down on the leaves and roll around… I know, I should have. The yard is the same yard that I played tag, hide and seek, and football in when I was a kid. Oh, the wonderful memories- they keep me smiling.
If she were here today, I am sure she would be raking and bagging leaves. I would offer help and tell her to take it easy and not to do it over.. She’d probably say, I might be old, but I have to keep moving. I can’t let these old bones of mine stiffen up! Lol!!
I hope you don’t mind…
I just needed to clear my mind. Today is a great day!
Thanks for stopping by and make it a fabulous day! Smooches!! 🙂