Off to see Aunt this weekend. The last time before Christmas. She sounded tired when we spoke on the ‘phone, so I am not sure what to expect. I am hopeful she will see the New Year, and that when it comes, death will be quiet and gentle, and take her while she sleeps. I know that’s what she wishes too.
Knowing someone is going to die anticipates missing them. This time next year, I do not expect to be packing the car boot with fruit juices to take to Aunt, choosing flowers to give her for Christmas. Visiting Aunt is full of these significant moments that I know could be the last time I see her mixed in with ordinary practicalities.
What are the questions I should be asking her? the conversations this time next year I’ll wish we’d had?
Each year there’s one less card to write; 2013 Mother; 2014 Aunt Nessa; 2015 Aunt Kath. My older cousins move into the position of family elders.
Yesterday while I dusted I listed to a tape of Nanci Griffith.
Back in the 90s when I drove to and from work every day I listened to tapes in the car. I still have a tapedeck at home, but I have been wondering about getting rid of it. That has led to listening to almost forgotten tapes. The Nanci Griffith one was given me by my friend Richard in 1991. The year my father died. I played it a lot and it isn’t in great shape now. Definitely one for the bin. But oh the memories. And the songs. I put down my duster and stood in the middle of the room to listen to Once In a Very Blue Moon. Maybe you haven’t listened to it for a while either. Trhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RR7DA9e3o4
I have ordered the CD. Actually I ordered two.
Well I can’t stop there.
Here are a couple more from her catalogue to remind just how great she is.
I can totally relate to your post having just travelled 1000 miles round trip to visit my last Aunt who is turning 100 this month. Thinking of you Isobel.
I admit to purchasing a CD upgrade last week to a Sandy Denny LP bought in 1976. You are brave to venture back into the old tunes. Never know exactly what is still living in those tunes.
Seems to be the time of passing. We are having one over here.
I would ask, if she is able, for Aunt to give us a nice salute. Her spirit is with us all and may we all be so graceful and let that wonderful spirit live on in you.
They do spark old memories and emotion. I shall try to take a photograph of her tomorrow.
I know you’ll make the most of every moment Isobel.
oh Isobel, that’s a bittersweet tough and wonderful journey. bless you for being there for your aunt. no pressure to make it a perfect visit – enjoy the moments, and you will know what to say when you are there.
i have to say i have never heard of Nanci Griffith, so i went looking for Once in a Very Blue Moon… such a musical gift. thanks for sharing.
blessings to you in the days ahead.
Delighted to have introduced you to Nanci Griffith.
I don’t know how many more visits there will be like this one. I think her time is running out.
I can’t but send you all my love
Isobel, you and Aunt have been on my mind. I know the visit will be special because you always think of the kindest things to do. I still remember the lavender cream you would massage into your Mother’s hands. I hope Aunt will be feeling well enough for you to bundle her up and make a pub visit, even if she can just sip some tea or broth. We took my Mom to her favorite little restaurant a couple of weeks before she lost her battle with lung cancer and I remember how happy it made her to be dressed up and out of the house… oxygen and all. Hugs to you and Aunt… I am thinking of her beautiful smile. Maybe you will share another of her smiles if she is up to it.
She’s not well enough to go out, and even if she were, the lift is out of order which makes me very cross, because anyone who is a bit frail and who lives above the ground floor is effectively a prisoner in his or her home.
It is appreciably colder outside than in London. A coolness I am employing to feel more normal.
She like the fruit juice, so I shall try to persuade her to drink as much of it as possible tomorrow.
Make the most of your visit xxx
I shall. 🙂
Hugs to you both. Enjoy just being together x
Thanks, we have.
Memories are funny things but so precious; making memories with your aunt is special and while bittersweet they do actually help with the grieving, but for now just focus on the joy of making memories not the needing of them. Hope all is well.