Saturday, June 30, 2012

Farewell to Aunt Grace

The Visit

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There are many blossoms in my messily tended garden of memories.

Gardens...

When I think of Aunt Grace, especially in these last few days, I almost always picture her in the gardens she loved at Tiger Hill. They are not formal gardens, but I think they reflect her personality. There are bright pops of color from geraniums tucked along walkways and nestled against rocks...and I've always loved the unruly profusion of blooms that tumble over the fence at the entrance of the drive.

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Perhaps you've noticed the wild roses that frame the ancient well that has a distinct list...

...and I love the cool enclosure of the fairy garden where Aunt Grace coaxed and nurtured her flowers and plants for as long as I can remember.

Yes, Aunt Grace was absolutely a woman ahead of her time. A business woman as well as someone who was capable in so many ways, but what I will remember was her sense of fun that bubbled up whenever I saw her and all our long conversations of just being silly and conspiratorial girl talk. No one could miss her high voltage charm at a party or family gathering. All girl, bright nails, tinkling bracelets and feminine clothes.

The same person, who, hours earlier might have been weeding, canning strawberries, bookkeeping, needle pointing, or engaged in a thousand other practical matters.

A dog at her side, and always a large one!

I will think of her whenever I see a small bouquet...a fragrant flower with a spray of this or that...

...I will remember her beautiful table settings with countless extra dishes and pretty plates. Little touches so often missing in today's busy world.

I always wondered what magic, what sleight of hand was responsible for this delightful contrast of practicality and glamor.

And I will always always remember her last gift to me. It was a day like so many others sitting on her sun porch.

Aunt Grace, lacy, silky and coiffed. She looked beautiful, with a megawat smile, eager for family news and conversation. I can't even begin to guess at the effort it took for her to make that visit so natural...as if we had all the time in the world. I kissed her and said,

I'll see you tomorrow

I didn't.

Instead, the next day I walked around the point in her footsteps while she slipped away from us....

...taking in the bend in the road, the pines, rugosa, and rocks I knew were imprinted on her heart...and it was there, on that short sweet path that I said farewell.

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Aunt Grace

April 25, 1920 ~ June 24, 2012

10 comments:

  1. A beautiful tribute, Carol. I am sorry for your loss. xo

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    1. Mike ~ Thank you so much for your thoughts, they are appreciated more than I can say.

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  2. ...just like that.

    Beautifully said Carol. Thoughts with you.

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    1. Dilettante ~ Thank you dear neighbor!

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  3. It sounds as if she were given the perfect name. And it sounds as if you share some of her many gifts, which is, of course, the best way forward. Here's to canning and preserving lovely memories.

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  4. home before dark ~ So comforting...and as always, beautifully expressed. Thank you!

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  5. A grace, indeed, to have known her and been loved by her.

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    1. Dear Blue, such lovely kind words. Thank you.

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  6. So sorry for your loss, Carol. Everyone should have an Aunt Grace in their life. I love the photograph of her...what a beautiful smile! xxoo

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment, Vickie. She was a wonderful person who showered so many with the radiance of her personality.

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