Tonight a little old lady passed away at a nursing home. She was my Aunt Sarabeth and she was my favorite.
I haven't written anything for a while, I haven't felt much like it. Life has been busy, new job, new responsibilities, growing kids and so writing has fallen to the wayside. But for some reason I feel like I want to talk about her as she was very special to me.
Over the last several years Aunt Sarabeth has had dementia. She didn't always remember people or things that had happened. The last time we spoke was when my brothers went to see her and they face-timed her to me. Happily she knew who I was, she even remembered Stephanie, of course she thought she was 4 and was surprised when I said she was a teenager, but she let the surprise pass and went on to tell me in her sweet southern drawl, "I sure do love you baby girl" (this should be pronounced: I shor du luuuuuvv you baybe gurl).
My childhood was spent taking many trips to Louisiana to visit my Dad's side of the family. My Aunt Sarabeth who was my Dad's big sister would always take me and my brothers to do the fun things, we would spend the night with her, she would take us to eat food at random open restaurants on Christmas evening, to see movies or we would just visit and spend time together. But more then the things we did together when I was little, she was so funny. She was so southern, so politically incorrect, so good at using words in a way that I'll never master.
When Ryan and I were just dating (well we were living together, but nobody in the South knew that at the time) I took him to Louisiana for Thanksgiving and to meet my family. Ryan and I went to my Aunt Sarabeth's house for a visit and she gave my husband an epic first impression. She had polio as a child so walking was hard and she mostly used a wheelchair or just sat in a chair in the living room and hollered at whoever was nearby. In this case it was her dog Quinn. That dog was beautiful but kind-of naughty. He was big and acted like a toddler who just learned to walk and just discovered that there was a world to explore. Her was of controlling him was to spray him with a water bottle, but with her drawl, way with words and excited giggly voice, it was hilarious. Ryan, my California born and bred boyfriend was captivated and still to this day talks fondly about that visit to her house.
The last time I went to Louisiana was in 2006, Stephanie was 14 months old and we went to visit my Granny who was in an assisted living facility. When I was there, my Aunt Sarabeth pulled me aside and told me how much it meant that my mom and I would send Granny pictures and how much it meant for us to come down as Granny would love to just look through all the pictures we would send. I remember hugging her and saying how I wished I could visit more often, she just said simply, "me too baby girl". She had a way of being comforting with only a few words / but also feel quite guilty for living far away, all at the same time, it was gift I haven't figured out how to do....yet.
When I was grieving the loss of my Granny I was speaking with my Aunt and all I really wanted was a picture I remember seeing on her dresser which was my Granny in her wedding gown. Whenever we visited I used to sleep in my Granny's room so I used to alway look at that picture. She was so sweet to give it to me with a little note that I keep in the back of the frame. I love the letter, only my Aunt would mention how much my Granny weighed when she was married.....78 lbs....(btw, I say no chance, that is less than my 11 year old very skinny child). But if she said it was true, then I suppose I'm not here to argue.
I'll miss having her on earth, but I know she is in my Granny's arms and for that I am at peace. I suppose it's time for me to plan a trip to Louisiana. I could use a big dose of some of my favorite southern cousins....xo