Celebrating a Life

Picture is (from left to right) my Aunt Sue,myself and my Aunt Elsie is 1981 at my 1st wedding.

My Aunt Elsie left us yesterday after several weeks of hospitalization. She was a young 77 years old but her body had many medical issues that she just could not recover from.

I am sad that she is gone but I have to think about celebrating who she was and the impact that she had on so many people.

My aunt never had a "career" yet her impact on the world was great. She was so much more than "just" someone's mother, grandmother, wife, aunt, etc. Not that she didn't fulfill those roles exceptionally because she did.

Many people who were not related to her will remember her as the excellent cook who was always there at her church's center, running the kitchen and cooking for church banquets and events.

As the population of the church has aged, there became fewer and fewer women to do the jobs that needed to be done but Aunt Elsie was always there to run the show in the kitchen.

She also filled in as a church organist.

She was the mother of 6 children and I fondly remember the chaos in her home but throughout it, she stayed calm. She went about the business of taking care of her home and many neighbor kids (who are now grown) fondly remember Mrs. Loki. Everyone was welcome in her home.

As a mom of 5 myself, I wonder how she did it. Although I enjoyed the chaos; I often needed a break. Aunt Elsie seemed to just always roll along with what was happening with a calm, nurturing demeanor.

She was a woman who could be trusted with a secret and it amazed me just how she could have kept some of the secrets that she did.

When I think about her, I have so many memories. I admired how she was so relaxed with a screaming baby in her arms. Again, her calm nature at work.

She was a wonderful cook and the last few years would bake for herself just because she felt like it. She liked to have a piece of cake at night.

Before ABC cancelled the daytime soaps I had been at her apartment watching them with her one day. When I heard they were cancelled I thought that she would be mad like I was but not Aunt Elsie. She took to watching game shows and old movies instead. Although she had been a fan, she easily rolled with change.

There was no doubt in my mind that my aunt loved me. I felt it when she touched my hand. She knows how much I loved her.

She was a delicate woman but also quite stubborn and tough. She truly was a class act who didn't engage in gossip. She was a good friend to many because of what a good listener she was.

My aunt never was wealthy in a financial way but in the ways that counted she was rich. She touched my life and I will carry it with me forever. What she taught me will always remain a part of who I am.

As her family mourns her passing I hope that they can smile through their tears when they remember the joys that she had in her life.

We were blessed to know you Aunt Elsie and to have you touch our lives.

Thank you. Your place in heaven was well earned.

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