***This was originally a facebook note that I wrote the day my Aunt Maxine passed away, one year ago today. I wanted to share this with all of you again, before I present a new post on what has gone on in the last year concerning my Aunt, my cousins....I just felt that it was important to get these two posts on Bended Life, rather than leaving them hidden on facebook. Thank for reading. Remember, this was from one year ago, today. There will be an update in the next couple of days ***
As we had a girls night IN at my mother in law's house last night watching Gone With the Wind, my great Aunt Maxine's health was going downhill fast. As my household lay sleeping, she passed on to be with our amazing Lord God and is probably singing praises to Him right now! We all know how much she LOVED singing! Especially when praising God! What a remarkable angel God has brought home.
What a remarkable woman my family will miss. Last night, as ALL of the girls were watching Gone With the Wind, I couldn't help but be reminded of my Aunt Maxine. Of course, I had no idea that this would be her last night...but, I am so glad that I was passing on the love of Gone With the Wind to my little ones that she passed to me so many years ago.
After my mom called me this morning to let me know, it was hard, because I was alone...in the quiet of my house. Michael was working some overtime and all of the children were sleeping. It was nice to have those few moments of weeping to myself. I was able to eventually get through to Michael at work and he was able to come home early. I let my mother in law know too...her reassurance that all will be OK and that I was free to do whatever I needed to do was good.
One by one the children awoke to find their momma sobbing in bed holding onto Alena tightly. It was so comforting to realize how much Aunt Maxine has touched their young lives already. Dylan and Amanda have their own stories to share. They love hearing about her life...because it was such a full and sometimes hilarious life.
My reflections of the day have been all centered around her. Pretty much everything that has happened today, has made me remember something else about her. Aunt Maxine's love of chocolate cam about because Michael bought me some chocolate comfort foods. My Christmas tree all lit up and my house decorated made me think of how much she LOVED decorating for Christmas. A commercial for KFC made me remember how much Aunt Max LOVED her fried chicken! While I was out and about earlier, I remembered her horrible driving skills. When we passed by a furniture store in Herrin, I thought of all the dreamin' we used to do every year for my birthday! When I prayed today, I remembered how Aunt Max always wanted everyone to hold hands to pray...NO MATTER who was sitting next to you! So many memories....I know it is probably hard to imagine that I could possibly have so many wonderful memories of my great aunt! In most families...a great aunt seems distant. But, not in mine....I am a better person because of her and having her have a helping hand in my life.
Of course, for the past several years her memory was fading worse and worse. Eventually, she forgot who I was. She no longer had the wonderful memories of me as I had of her. However, she would hug me so tightly and tell me she loved me...the past few visits, she did remember me for about five seconds. That was enough. I know that I was in her heart. Alzheimer's is hard on the family, no doubt. BUT~ let me get on my soap box for a minute and unleash some hurt that I am feeling right now...if you have a family member that is suffering from Alzheimer's and you are NOT going to visit them any longer because you feel like the visit is pointless, I tell you it is NOT! I never stopped going to see her when I went to Iowa. I didn't care if she asked me where I lived or who I was 150 times in five minutes! She was my aunt that I loved...and that didn't stop just because she didn't know who I was.
I love my dear Aunt Maxine...and although right now I am hurting....I know that she is SO happy up there!
Thank you for reading and letting me share my love for her with all of you!