Monday, February 7, 2011


This week will be full of celebrations. Daniel's birthday will be celebrated with family and friends and family again. The first of the many Valentine's Day parties will take place. And this weekend, we will gather to celebrate the life of my Great-Aunt Sarah.

It was, from what I've heard, as peaceful a passage as one could hope for, which is certainly no less than what she deserved. The synopsis of my aunt's life has always amazed me, but as I have moved further into adulthood -- and especially motherhood -- I find myself wondering at her life more and more. Widowed at a young age, she was left to care for her two handicapped children at a time when resources to meet their needs were few and far between. If she ever took pity on herself, I never heard it. She seemed to meet each day with strength and determination.

As time went on, she lost her children, and her memories, too.

I last saw her in the summer months. We spent a few hours together, poring over pictures of the newest generation, going over the ties that linked her to each of the faces in the photographs, assuring her repeatedly that, yes, we are in fact Italian.

We sat outside in the sunshine, where the revolving door of comments turned to talk of how warm the sun felt, how lovely the fountains and flowers were, how nice a place we found ourselves. There was passing confusion on her part, as to who I was and where we were, but never any complaint. Only more mention of the sun on her skin or the birds singing. A lesson to be remembered, finding joy wherever we are.

A lesson that is one more thing to celebrate.


Anonymous said...

We lost our uncle to dementia years before he died. You are fortunate that your aunt still found things to be positive about. It is a difficult battle, and it's hard to make sense out of it. Nice job finding the silver lining.