I wrote a blog post last week in which I sternly warned all my family and friends that no-one else was allowed to die until at least the end of this calendar year, due to an overload of grief around here. Apparently my Great-Aunt Mabel was not paying attention because she passed away a couple of days ago at the age of 93. But in her case, I will be lenient. Very old people who have lived full, rich lives are permitted to die peacefully with minimal suffering … but no other exceptions, OK?!
But seriously, folks … Aunt Mabel was a lovely lady. She was warm, hospitable, and full of fun. Everyone who remembers her, remembers her with a smile, and that’s wonderful legacy to leave behind. I remember her as a kindly older lady, my grandmother’s sister, from childhood visits out to Steady Brook and from her annual trip to Campmeeting, when she would have Sabbath dinner at our cabin and celebrate her birthday, which always fell around that time of year.
But some of my fondest memories are of two visits Jason and I made when the kids were very small, to stay with her in her house in Corner Brook. She loved children and was a wonderful hostess. The picture above is from the trip we took in 2004, when Chris was 6 and Emma was 4. I remember being impressed by what a great housekeeper she was then, in her late 80s, and how effortlessly she seemed able to fold our noisy family of four into her quiet home for a few days. She loved children and enjoyed the chance to get to know Chris and Emma, even briefly.
We didn’t get out there again as a family until this past summer. By that time Aunt Mabel was no longer in her own home, but in a nursing home, and very frail. She was full of energy and vitality, both mental and physical, until she was about ninety, but in the last few years she was much weaker, and though I’m sorry for the loss of such a lovely person, I feel at peace with her death, knowing it was her time to go. She leaves behind great memories of love and laughter from the many, many people who knew and loved her.