Sunday, March 26, 2006

This is for you Aunt Ollie

My aunt, who is also my Godmother is in a hospice right now clinging to life. I am about 1100 miles away or I would try and go.

My mom grew up in Colorado, in a little tiny town where everyone knew each other and they all spoke Spanish. My godmother was about 10 years older than her sister, my mother. Maria (my aunt Ollie - I still don't understand why we call her that and everyone else calls her Maria!) had 9 children of her own and lived on the side of a mountain. She and my Uncle owned a laundromat in the Springs. They worked very hard all of their lives. My uncle passed away at least 20 years ago of cancer. My aunt stayed in her same little house on the mountain, never remarried, and gradually all of her kids moved away but all stayed in touch one way or another.

Life in a house with 9 children was very different than my house where I grew up with only two brothers. We didn't have to fight for food, bathrooms or attention. My cousins fought and scrapped and my brother's and I spent a lot of time there with our eyes as wide as dinner plates. They were always way "street" smarter than my brothers and I. I know they thought of us as spoiled and soft and when I look back now, I acknowledge that compared to them, we were. But, my Aunt Ollie always treated us special. We were the children of her only and cherished baby sister. The sister that made it out of that small town. The sister who married well and was beautiful.

My Aunt always tried to give me something special when I visited. I was her Goddaughter and she took that vow seriously. We lived 600 miles away so visits were few. When I was in about 9th grade she gave me a pair of earrings. They weren't something she went out and purchased. I knew she had just gone into her bedroom and pulled them out of her own jewelry box to give them to me. They are simple studs in an antiqued silver setting. The stone is sometimes pink, sometimes purple and sometimes a periwinkle blue. I have no idea what they are but I still wear them at least 3 or 4 times a week now. I still receive lots of compliments and people ask me what they are made of. They are one of the most precious things I own. I think its because they weren't brand new. They were valuable to my aunt and she wanted to give me something of value.

Well, you did, Aunt Ollie. You taught me that when you love someone a gift from the heart is worth more than all the gold in the world.

I know when I called you just now you were groggy and the end is near but you still asked about me and how I was. I told you I loved you and I felt better. When you said I'll see you soon all I could think of was heaven and how the angels are tickled to receive you. Your unwavering faith is a testimony to all of us. Godspeed.


  • I hope she gets better. She sounds like an amazing lady.

    Maybe the stones are opals?

    By Blogger Mrs. Harridan, at 3/26/2006 5:28 PM  

  • She is not going to recover. She will probably die by tonight or tomorrow.

    The stones are not opals. They are cut like a diamond and clear like that. Unlike an opal.

    By Blogger DebbieDoesLife, at 3/26/2006 5:33 PM  

  • What a fantastic person to have around as a kid. I had a great aunt give me earrings when I was younger, and reading your post has made me want to go and find them. I can't imagine how strong she would have to be to have 9 kids and live where she did. I'm sorry to hear you're going through this living so far away.

    By Blogger Heather, at 3/26/2006 6:29 PM  

  • I'm so sorry to hear of this, but your words are truly a gift.

    By Blogger Brooke, at 3/26/2006 6:57 PM  

  • Not all of the best people in our lives are blood relations. That your Godmother could still have enough love left over for you guys (after having 9 kids!!) is nothing short of a miracle. You are so very lucky.

    By Blogger wordgirl, at 3/26/2006 8:27 PM  

  • My favorite Aunt (Aunt Rae) died this past December. She was the kindest, most selfless person I have ever known. I was able to see her a few weeks before her death only because I had gone to Georgia for the funeral of my 42 year old cousin who died suddenly. To see my strong, spunky Aunt Rae laying in pain and confusion was one of the hardest things I have had to witness. She, like your Aunt, wanted only to hear how I was, how my kids were, etc. etc.....trying to reach beyond her pain to somehow comfort me. I know after seeing her, that she is indeed happier in her new heavenly home. Reading about your Aunt/Godmother leads me to the same hard as it may be to let her go, she will go and be at peace again. I am so sorry for the pain her death will cause you and your family, but rest assured, Aunt Ollie will be smiling down on you all.

    I remember the earrings you speak of. I commented on them when I vistied you last. It was my guess that they were tanzanites...dosn't really matter, they are priceless.

    Keep the Faith.

    By Anonymous Carol, at 3/26/2006 9:05 PM  

  • What a wonderful beautiful Godmother you have. She will always hold a special place in your heart, and you are blessed to have that within you for the rest of your days.

    By Blogger Melanhead, at 3/26/2006 9:20 PM  

  • My heart goes out to you. I'm so sorry you are losing someone so special.

    By Blogger mama_tulip, at 3/26/2006 9:45 PM  

  • This was a touching tribute to your Aunt. I know you will miss her a lot. I'm glad you got to talk to her and have such wonderful memories to hold on to in the years to come.

    By Blogger Crazy MomCat, at 3/27/2006 1:04 AM  

  • Lovely, lovely tribute.

    By Anonymous tlc, at 3/27/2006 6:53 AM  

  • Sorry about your aunt. It is hard to lose someone you love and hard to see a the older generation pass. My dad was the oldest in a family of eight and they're all gone now.....

    Re: the earrings. The stones may indeed be tanzanite, but also could be sapphires. Sapphires actually come in all colors--blue, red (ruby), yellow, green, pink, purple, clear.) Some of the finest ones change color from cornflower blue to purple, depending whether they're reflecting natural or incandescenton the light.

    Can you tell I've been shopping for tanzanite and sapphire lately?

    By Anonymous V-Grrrl, at 3/27/2006 7:12 AM  

  • Sounds like Moonstone. Tremendously cool rock, changes color. [here is a page on it: ] Never seen, it actually. They have been trying to imitate it lately with this horrible invention called "Mystic Fire" which looks to me like a horribly colored black opal fake thingie. Blech.

    My father was #2 of nine, so I can imagine what her house must have seemed like to you guys of three (I also come from a set of three). Your aunt sounds like the greatest lady.

    By Anonymous Sharla, at 3/27/2006 9:31 AM  

  • I'm so sorry to hear about your aunt's struggle right now. She sounds like the embodiment of love. I don't think it matters what sort of stone is in the earrings. They were given to you with love, and that's what makes them sparkle. *hugs*

    By Blogger B.E.C.K., at 3/27/2006 1:46 PM  

  • I'm so sorry to hear about your aunt. I lost my Grandma last year and also live far away. I don't really know if it's harder to be far away or harder to be nearby and still helpless. You and your family and in my thoughts and prayers. You'll always have the gift of love in the form of your aunt's earrings to hold.

    By Blogger Annie, The Evil Queen, at 3/27/2006 4:21 PM  

  • Oh, Deb! So touching and so endearing to hear about your love for each other and such a wonderful lady. My prayers are with you and I wish for peace for you both!

    By Blogger #1 Dancer, at 3/27/2006 6:24 PM  

  • Beautiful post. Your Aunt Ollie would be proud.

    By Blogger Arabella, at 3/27/2006 6:52 PM  

  • I hope you and your family are finding some peace, Debbie. Your aunt sounds like a wonderful person. Loving so selflessly and completely takes a lot of courage.

    By Anonymous TB, at 3/27/2006 8:24 PM  

  • I just lost my only Aunt last December. She also spoke only Spanish growing up. What your wrote about your Aunt reminded me of her. Thru their lives, they give us something so very valuable, something we can cling to & pass down to our kids: a strong sense of a loving family.
    I hope your Aunt doesn't suffer & has a peaceful passing. I'll keep you & your family in my prayers.

    By Blogger jane, at 3/28/2006 1:18 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home