Thursday, April 18, 2013
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.