I saw the online tribute put out in the local paper. I was struck with one word. Homemaker.
My sweet aunt was memorialized with that one word. I’d like to add to that…
She was a daughter, sister, aunt, wife, mother and friend. She was also a humble, caring, generous, giving and funny person. My first-born was close in age to her first two, but my son and her three kids were close when they were much younger. We were in each others lives almost on a daily basis when I lived in Garden City. We took turns taking care of each others kids, admittedly she took care of mine more than I did hers. At that time she was a stay at home mom and offered to help me out. Later she would return to work as a substitute teacher. I admired her ability to fearlessly go into the school system as a sub…we all know subs get no respect.
She was also my cohort in shopping, eating, walks in the park, visits to the zoo…she was always game for anything.
Later…the miracle years…I don’t believe in miracles…but anywho…I’m sure my use of the word together with a retelling of her struggles would make her smile.
Over 20 years ago, Angel faced a serious health crisis, she was small, had a history of heart related issues and had fallen ill, Dr.s couldn’t quite come up with a diagnosis or treatment. She scoured medical books, looking for her symptoms, running to the doctor, or the emergency room with symptoms and possible diagnosis’…all to just be sent home where she would continue to lose weight she didn’t need to be losing. Eventually she would be hospitalized and diagnosed. I was at that point working fulltime, yet she would call me from the hospital and ask me to come see her….she would be freaking out. She had premonitions and dreams where she knew she would not live to see 40. During her stay as she lay in bed she would drive me nuts with her continuous litany of death visions. I get it, she was scared and wasn’t ready to die. But damn…she could annoy the hell out of me…so I just told her to “shut up already…if you wake up dead you won’t even know it”. Yeah…insensitive…I had my foot in my mouth thigh high and immediately felt like shit for going off on her and saying that…I turned to her and she was smiling. She was like, “that is comforting to me”….I guess she needed to hear that. She didn’t whine so much about dying after that. She went on to have open heart surgery and get herself back on the road to recovery and living her life taking care of her kids, husband, home, nieces and nephews.
She was also an ardent collector of Angels, dolls, figurines, magnets, and charms. She did some traveling with her sister Addy, visited Ireland, Hawaii, traveled throughout the states.
Angel also had the ability to just strike conversations with random people, she never met a stranger….which at times could be scary. I could go on, but tears fill my eyes and make me miss her all the more. I regret not picking up the phone more and reaching out to her. Last few times we spoke we barely got a few words in, she always had her hands full with her precious grandbabies.
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