My 90 year old great aunt (Lena) has died. She was my Grandfather’s youngest sibling (8 in sum!), and the last to leave this earth. I loved her very much. She lived with her sister, my Aunt Mary, in the sweetest little house in which nothing ever changed. It was always cozy, immaculate, warm and joyful when we visited them. Coffee was on, delicious food was served.
They tended a big garden in their yard, and later in their lives a giant pot of lush basil on the back porch stood in for the garden. Locally grown wasn’t a term back in my childhood, but they lived in a part of western New York State that is all farm land, so every morsel of food was fresh.
Never doubt what a difference a modest, well lived life can make in this world. I can think of only two other places on this earth where I felt as peaceful when I was with my Aunts in their home. They loved to laugh, bowl, and play golf. They both worked at Lipton and Kodak on the manufacturing floor. In her later life my Aunt Lena attended Mass every day, and was always devout and kind hearted. Yes, she was real. Who she was, the way she lived her life, everything about her helped create a place inside of me from which I can always draw comfort and feel love. I am looking to that space now.