In loving memory

07Jan09

My Aunty Dorothy passed away last night, a fact that make me deeply sad.  In memory of her, and as a chance to celebrate all of the wonderful things that she was, I decided to write this post.

My Aunty Dorothy may not have technically been our family—no one knows if she was related to my Grandpa, like we were told, or if it was just a close friendship that evolved when people immigrated to the United States.  It makes no difference, however, because she was as much a part of my life as anyone else in my family.

My Aunty Dorothy was a great friend to both of my grandparents.  She and my Grandpa were close, like siblings, and because of that, she was sort of like a sister AND a best friend to my Granny.  The three of them were always chatty, always joking and always happy.

Aunty Dorothy in Hawaii, at Cecilia's graduation

Aunty Dorothy in Hawaii, at Cecilia's graduation

She was always around for my brother, sister and me, too.  Having Aunty as our babysitter was one of the better treats of the summer, growing up.  She told us that we could do anything we wanted, as long as we let her “watch her Young and Restless”.  Which we did….and rubbed her shoulders while she watched.  How’s that for a lucky lady?!  Aunty let us rub stinky, sticky Tinkerbell lotion into her hands and arms, she let us put stickers on her face, and let us paint her nails all colors of the rainbow.

As time ticked on and we all got older, Aunty Dorothy still was present.  She traveled to Hawaii with my Aunty Mary for a month, to visit my sister when she was a freshman in college.  I was able to be there at that time, and we visited tourist attractions—the Polynesian Cultural Center, Pearl Harbor, etc.  We pushed her around in her wheelchair and she cracked jokes and was a lot of fun.  She traveled to Pennsylvania for Christian’s college graduation, back to Hawaii for Cecilia’s college graduation and most recently traveled to Boston for my wedding in November ’07.   She was all smiles and support, a lovely sight for any bride to see.  It was amazing that she was able to make the trip (she rode about 20 hours in a car with my Aunty Mary and my Uncle Bob’s sister, Terry), but she stayed all night at the wedding, dancing to the music from her wheelchair.

Aunty Dorothy with Grandpa and Granny, at our wedding

Aunty Dorothy with Grandpa and Granny, at our wedding

We last saw Aunty Dorothy in a rehabilitation hospital on New Year’s Day.  She had been in one hospital or another since around Halloween, and was in pain.  Despite that pain, she laughed with us, talked and joked, and reminisced about stories.  She was close to the end, but gave us all a wonderful memory of our last time with her.

She was a wonderful person, a good friend, a smart lady, a strong woman.  Everyone in my family, and even many of my friends were affected by her kindness.  Her life is one to be celebrated, and we will all miss her greatly.

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3 Responses to “In loving memory”

  1. 1 Mom

    Elysa – This is beautiful. I forwarded it to Mark and Michael. I know they will appreciate it. Mom

  2. 2 Aunty Mary

    Elysabeth – we all have such wonderful memories that I wish you could use your talent to write a book about our Aunty. Thanks for the 1st chapter.

  3. 3 Aunty Donna

    Elysa, I finally got to read your tribute; it was better than what we heard at the service! Keep your sweet thoughts!


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