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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Thursday's Thing*


My Aunt Elaine made this pretty counted cross stitch for me decades ago.  She made an absolutely beautiful one of Mama and Papa Cardinal for herself, that my Mom and Dad now have in their home.   She made a wonderful "House Rules" one for my parents.  And she made an "Irish Blessing" for my Gram that my parents now have also.  The act of love it took for her to make these is nothing short of miraculous.  Aunt Elaine passed away from MS.  That she suffered from vertigo, vision problems, coordination trouble, numbness, and countless other symptoms MS offers up and still did counted cross stitch is beyond reason.  But somehow, she could focus and control these little Xs.  When she presented this to me, I silently cried when I was alone in my room.  I knew her struggles and all the cursing that went along with them.  And I knew she wanted me to have something that came from her hands.  Love.  Pure, True Love. 

For my whole life, Aunt Elaine had MS.  To me, it was just how it was...I did not know her before the illness took over.  But it was not what defined her personality.  She was frickin' funny, loud, personable, smart, a confidant, devilish (tried to trip a nun at an airport with her cane while I was pushing her wheelchair...long story short, she was taught by nuns for 13 years and Did Not have fond memories), spoke her mind, gave kids rides on her electric wheelchair, and was just plain Fun.  There are not enough hours in the day, days in the year to tell all the stories about her.  She was the best aunt a kid could hope to have.  And she would botch the punchline to every joke she ever told, which made them all the more hysterical. 

At our wedding, she led the conga line.  My brother pushed her wheelchair.  It was classic Aunt Elaine.  She was the life of the party that day.  It was the last time most of our family and friends saw her.  She died 3 months later.  At her funeral, almost every person said, "The last time I saw your aunt was at your wedding, partying it up and leading the conga line!"   What a wonderful lasting impression to leave on people :-D





 *Appreciate what you have.  Want for less...unless it is beads or music.








10 comments:

LisaS said...

What a wonderful Aunt! And so nice to have this cross stitch to remember her by. ;)

Janet Bocciardi said...

A wonderful tribute you gave your beloved Aunt! The best part is she knew how you all loved her and her fun spirit. Leaving a lasting positive impression has got to be the best thing you can do in life.

AntiquityTravelers said...

Agree with Janet! wonderful tribute to your aunt! My sister-in-law has MS and I've watched how it has beat up her body over the 20 years I've known her. It is a devastating disease. She is now in a wheelchair, but still fighting this disease with everything she's got. She is that aunt to my kids. She adores them

Monique (A Half-Baked Notion) said...

Everyone should have an Elaine in their lives: that special soul who lives large in the face of great adversity, embracing suffering without ever letting it define who she is or how she is remembered. Thanks for sharing this dear, funny lady you were privileged to know, Christine!

Gloria said...

What a special lady! I can picture her and you in the airport, and dancing the conga. Living large, that's the right attitude.

windrock studio said...

Yes, I'm aware of what a bully MS is, watched the toll it took on a good friend and I also know how truly blessed we are to have had these special Aunts in our lives ... thanks for sharing yours, I'm sure we would have hit it off!

Patti Van said...

What a beautiful tribute for what sounds to me like the Perfect Aunt! one of my best friends has MS. It took 5 years for them to diagnose this crappy disease. She has been living with this diagnosis for 15 years...and she is not doing well these days. MS is right up there with Cancer in my Book of Evils.

Thank you for sharing our memories!

BIKBIK AND RORO said...

What a sweet, sweet tribute. Even the embroidered cat's expression radiates her love :)

Miss Val's Creations said...

This is such a beautiful tribute Christine. You will cherish this piece forever. It is adorable too! Your aunt reminds me of mine who also has MS. But she has more good days than bad at this time and is not in a wheelchair yet. She lives in Pennsylvania so I am lucky if I see her once a year. She is also hysterical! I love that your aunt tried to trip the nun! Too funny. What a perfect last memory that everyone has from the wedding too. :)

Mama Zen said...

She sounds like a marvelous woman!