My Aunt Mary was my mom's older sister.
Aunt Mary had seven children, was a nurse, and such a sweet person (just like all my mother's sisters are.) I always loved staying at her home when I was a girl.
Aunt Mary, who lived in the "city" as we use to say, had seven children, six girls and a son.
During the summer I would spend a month or more at her home. Hanging out with her three youngest daughters: Shelley, Shelia and Thea, as the others were older. It was a girl's feast for me, who had four brothers and no sisters. Aunt Mary gave us free rein: We would sleep in until two in the afternoon, then put lemon juice in our hair and lay on the roof top, closer to the sun, for a tan and blonde hair. Aunt Mary would take us to the Salvation Army to find old 1930s silk nightgowns and bed-jackets, that we would wear while going to the drive-in movies. She never seemed bothered by the mischief we were up too, such as riding our bicycles to newly constructed sub-divisions, where we would sneak into the backyards to skinny-dip in the new pools of the new homes without owners...
My Aunt Mary was sweet, she had an easy laugh, her children adored her and she loved loving them. The joy it was for me to be at her home.
Last November, when I went home to see my family, I went to visit Aunt Mary. She was very frail, her daughter Sheila had recently died... When I walked into her room she began to cry, with tender sadness she said more than asked, "When will I ever stop crying?" I hugged her and said, "Probably never."
Oh death, you are the expected guest we hope will never arrive. But you manage to come in and surprise nevertheless.
I will miss you dear Aunt Mary and when I do, which will be often, I will remember you with such love and happiness.