An Aunt for the Ages

There can be no words when the world stops spinning and yet they sometimes fight to the surface in such a scatter that it would make her orderly self cringe in dismay.  She would be grabbing each one, grunting, and placing it into its proper spot, with a typed and perfectly placed label. For that, alongside a million and eighty other reasons, we love her.

Love. Not Loved.

Because love does not stop when the world stops spinning. We couldn’t lose her spirit even if we were broken enough to try. If you take a glance around you will know that love, you just have to stop and notice. You may shed a tear, but my hope is that these moments will wrap your heart and make you smile.

When I go through photos and can find a shot of her with each and every grand-niece and nephew in the same nestling and nurturing pose.

When I think of This Little Piggy and “Wee Wee Wee, all the way home.” For never a little set of feet did she meet where that did not happen.

When you see any arrangements of brightly colored flowers or a neat precision cut expanse of grass.

When you’re passing a conversation and hear a sardonic and sarcastic, but dripping in love, response.

When we see a blouse of any combination of red, white, and black and strangers cannot seem to understand our chuckles.

When you feel the urge to purge or organize or label anything and everything, know that is her.

When you’re struggling with anything and you remember unwavering support and know that in your corner you have a behemoth.

When the members of our family hang their stockings this Christmas and every Christmas to come and know that each sequin was stitched by hand for over 40 stockings.

When I look at my daughter and see Ingi in her eyes and know that she will carry her name for all of her life, nestled neatly between the name that chose her and the name that defines our family.

When I see any crazy cat lady paraphernalia, which may surprise anyone who hasn’t had the fortune of witnessing this craze first hand in recent years.

Each and every person who has had the fortune of knowing this lady is better for it. There are so many of these moments we all have to share, whether out in the world or in our own hearts. So please, think of her and smile.

I am grateful for the chance to be my mom’s chauffeur because as a result I have been able to not only help these two soul sisters spend time together but have been able to count my aunt as my friend. In recent years my memory bank is full of lunches, shopping trips, and craft shows. Lengthy emails, funny texts, and snarky conversations. My daughter has been able to build memories at Ingi’s house that she will treasure and for this I can only be grateful through the tears and have faith that our already patched and mended hearts can break and heal once again.







3 thoughts on “An Aunt for the Ages

  1. Kim, what an eloquent commentary on Ingrid’s life. I know how special she was/is to all of you. Know that she is looking down and smiling on this remembrance you so lovingly wrote. Love, Judy

  2. To be able to think, at a time like this, how fortunate you are for knowing your Aunt Ingi, rather than being angry at the world and asking “why me?” is a true gift and show of character. Your grief is heavy – and your words give that grief air on which to float away, rather than staying locked up inside. You, my dear, are such a Writer. I feel like I just met Ingi and my world is bigger and brighter since this introduction. She was an amazing woman. That is crystal clear. I am hugging you right at this moment. I hope you feel my love and admiration for you, and the whole rest of your special family. xoxo

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