Last night I had an hour long conversation with Aunt Carol Chase to make arrangements to have lunch and go see my Mother when I visit on Friday. Obviously, it doesn't take an hour to make such arrangements, but I know when I call Aunt Carol I've got to set some time aside. I guess I'm lucky I got away after only an hour.
During the course of the conversation Aunt Carol was talking about Auntie, whom we lost in September. Auntie and Aunt Carol have always been as close as sisters as Aunt Carol was just 10 years older than Auntie and her lifelong best friend. Aunt Carol said something that was particularly touching, about how when Nonnie was in labor with Auntie, Aunt Carol was told by Aunt Pasqueline, who was attending to Nonnie's home birth, that it was "time for her to leave," as Nonnie was "getting close."
Shortly after Auntie was born Aunt Carol was right there, and by her side for the rest of her days spending time together, and, in later years, talking many times a day - exchanging advice and confidences. On the day Auntie passed away, Aunt Carol was back by her side, holding her hand as she slipped away. As we were speaking, Aunt Carol said, "I was there when she came into this world, and I was holding her hand as she went out." Not unlike the thoughts of a parent, I suppose. So sad. Aunt Carol, being 93, has lost all her beloved cousins, except for my generation. As humans, we all strive to live a good, long life, but that's what's got to be so hard: losing loved ones who pass away before you do.
Aunt Carol loves to tell the stories about life on Martin Street, and truthfully, I never get tired of hearing them. She has her quirks, but the love she has for her family has been at the center of her life.