Oh Aunt Edie! Where do I began?
I loved you so much.
You filled in so many gaps in my childhood and teen years.
You were always there for me. Always!
Especially as a teenager when I needed someone the most.
But I don’t want to think sad thoughts right now, only happy times, and that is what you always brought to my life.
I’m so happy I had the chance to go to Wisconsin last year and have the kids meet you and spend the day with you.
You taught me everything I know about women hood. And in return, I taught everything that you taught me to my girls.
You were indeed, a free spirit. Everyone thought so.
I know you always wanted to have a daughter, and I filled in that gap for you just as much as you filled for me.
You taught me about homemaking, fashion, Jewelry, nails and makeup. All things girly!
You taught me how people see you, depending on how you present yourself.
First impressions. Making people feel loved.
My first memories of you are when you were pregnant with Aaron, your youngest son.
I hope you are finally reunited with your two Angel babies.
You gave of yourself unconditionally.
So many people did you wrong, but you never held a grudge. Ever!
You were so easy going and didn’t sweat the small stuff. Oh! How I try to be that way.
You loved hard, and passionately.
You had a charisma that attracted people to you. Maybe too much. People left your presence happy, and more alive though. You always made time for everyone that crossed your path and made everyone feel special around you. You never loss your temper. You spoke kindness. You were humble. You loved being a full time mother and friend.
You loved life! Despite all the losses life threw at you.
You were a massive collector of all things that made you happy. You didn’t care that no one understood how you loved so many things.
Regardless of what people thought, you were simply, you.
You found the beauty in every thing.
Some of your collections that I can recall as a child were your baby reborn dolls, sewing cabbage patch kid clothing.
Oh, and your cabbage patch collection. I remember the walls in your living room covered with State Bells, State thimbles, snd State spoons.
Your kitchen was filled with Fiesta ware, Bone China, Blue and Ruby glass. And Tupperware that could fill a store. I remember all of your table cloths, and the day you taught me how to set a proper table. I remember you eating one jello pudding pop a day, and using your Bill Cosby voice, when BC started making those commercials.
Your dining room was filled with vintage linens, baskets, Silver tea sets. I remember how happy you were when your husband installed the swinging wooden bar doors. You didn’t care if anything matched. You liked what you liked.
I remember how magical I thought your bedroom was as a young girl. Old books stacked against the walls. Beads and bead magazines lined up and future projects. Indian memorabilia that you’d collected from the Indian village. Going to the Indian village with you in the Florida Everglades.
Avon jewelry, Scarabs, stacks of stickers, vintage aprons and fabrics, Barbie’s, genuine turquoise, old Merl jewelry boxes filled with brooches and rings. I recall all of your plushes, and AVON colognes lined up on both of your vanities.
Lucky rabbits feet filled in old glass vases. Garfield Memorabilia, and vintage quilts galore! The 19” black and white TV playing your soap operas throughout the summer days.
I know there was so much more!
You were more then an aunt to me Aunt Edie. You were a girlfriend and mother figure as well.
I remember you outside catching lizards with me and teaching me about them, in detail.
I remember when we had our families living together in the big pink house, which you officially named The Pink Mansion.
I remember going to school and telling people that I lived in a big pink mansion!
I remember the day that you taught me how to do laundry. And how you don’t need to separate the whites from the colors if you buy second hand, you said. Why? Because all of the dye had already left.
I remember your laugh. I remember you telling me that the laundry soap ALL, was the best, and superior to Tide. But it was nearly five dollars a gallon. Very expensive!
I remember home work you helped me with after school. Paper mache’.
Playing dress up with me and doing my makeup.
Teaching me to braid my hair, and yours!
Letting me brush your super long hair and putting it up in that one and only barrette you had.
Then not getting mad at me when I stole your barrette at age 9, and gave it back to you ten years later. Silly me, thinking by wearing it, I would become you.
I remember your gold puffy heart necklace that was your favorite. I remember you telling me it’s better to love a thousand times, then to remain reserved and alone, for fear of a broken heart. I remember the look in your eyes.
I remember calling you and asking you how you get your hair so blonde, and you telling me that you bleach it.
I remember buying Clorox bleach and going home and pouring it over my head in the sink while mom was at work, and having my hair fall out. Calling you crying, wondering what I did wrong.
You told me that it is hair color bleach, not Clorox, and telling me how much fun it’s going to be wearing wigs to school. And for me to rinse my hair at the sink for a hour. I did!
And yes, It was fun wearing a wigs to school until my hair grew back.
I remember hearing mom on the phone yelling at you for not explaining the difference.
I remember you sneaking me special snacks that you reserved for yourself, but shared with only me. Chocolate covered Caramels, Jelly beans and Slim Jim’s.
I remember how you’d make grocery shopping fun! And telling me that it is an honor to shop for your family. I remember when you bought me that animal print bikini that mom wouldn’t buy me and letting me wear it at the community pool when mom was at work. I remember onlookers asking me if I was Debbie Gibson, and me feeling so shocked that they thought I looked like her.
I remember watching The Shining movie, and you telling me I may have nightmares. I did. And I still occasionally do…
Staying up late on school nights watching Green Acres , Patty Duke, and Father Knows Best.
Teaching me to make my own jewelry.
Shopping for broomstick skirts and cowboy boots.
Walking around the mall for hours upon hours.
Reading romance novels to me.
Teaching me with Uncle B, to fish for Bass in the lake, and telling me to not disturb the alligators while they were sunbathing, just six feet away.
Teaching me about breeding animals.
Calming me down when I use to be scared of all the iguanas that lived under your place. I remember your love for motor cycles and bad boys!
Giving your doves a shower before the magic shows.
Performing in a magic show.
Playing hide and seek in the dark.
I remember how you would get up early to make me fried egg sandwiches before school, and they were the best in the world. The cheese always melted to perfection.
I remember you
talking me out of having an Abortion as a teenager. Oh that was an emotional day!
I will always remember Your love for animals and babies. Just like Grandma.
Being there for me during my teen pregnancy, when no one else was.
I remember how much you loved paper mache , and taking ceramic classes and making mom that big black panther and 3-D looking lion planter.
I remember the large macramé, plant hanging things you would make. They were so beautiful!
I loved watching you create beautiful things Auntie.
I remember the year you forgot about Christmas! You were always so busy doing things and living life to its fullest, right where you were planted. Even through all of the storms.
I remember your record player set up in the hallway and you singing to country music, while dancing in your broomstick skirt and cowboy boots.
Always, always, telling me how proud you are of me. And how special I was to you. And had you had a daughter, you wanted her to be me.
I remember the day I asked my mother if I really was her daughter because I felt like you were my mother. I remember mom telling me how you use to date my father, but no, I was not your daughter, sorry.
I remember going to Hollywood with you to a fancy macrobiotic seminar, and you telling me that you had cancer and had to eat clean from now on, so no more chocolates. I remember not knowing what that meant, but asking if you were going to die. You said of course not honey.
I remember you always buying a bag of ice each day for your husbands bar. I remember asking you why he didn’t by his own ice.
I remember you getting out of your green Vega car in the pouring rain to make everyone sandwiches, because you were not going to let a thunderstorm ruin our Memorial Day Picnic.
I watched you from the car window and can remember how your long blonde hair was drenched down your back..over your pink, terry cloth romper…Never complaining about, well, anything.
At 21, I remember you raiding my closet and trying on my dresses, because you had lost weight and were able to fit in all my clothes. I remember you dancing to Madonna with me wearing my clothes. I remember you making a Madonna, Halloween costume and having it win at the party.
I remember you telling me the cancer was back, but it wasn’t your time yet. And for me to not worry.
This time I knew what that meant.
I remember moving to Florida later that year. I remember the day you took me to your church, and were wearing a prom dress that was mine, wanting to sparkle that day, not caring what onlookers would think of say.
I remember you pointing out your boyfriend in the church choir, and then a moment later you fainting next to me. Someone called 911 and I rode in the ambulance with you frantically scared.
At the hospital I thought you were going to die, and I couldn’t control my emotions. I remember crying over you, while someone saying that they will have to cut the blue prom dress off of you and you mumbling, “NO! It’s too pretty to cut” And that it belongs to your niece.
Aunt Edie, I still have that dress. And I have pictures of all my girls in it.
Oh Aunt Edie, the list can go on and on.
You meant the absolute world to me.
I only wish we had lived in the same state during my marriage and mommy of many years. I just know that my kids would have bonded with you just like I did.
It has been four days since your passing. I’ve been reflecting on everything you taught me on what was really important in life. People and giving them your time. Making everyone feel special.
I will cherish you the rest of my life and I hope I have become all that you were and more, as a Christian.
Until we meet again….
I love you Auntie. ❤️