I have been communicating with my mother's cousin recently. Her mother, my great aunt Charlotte, is my mother's closest friend. More than an aunt, Charlotte is only ten years older than my mother and since my mom was a little girl she and Charlotte have had a special bond, a deep love and friendship that goes beyond aunt and niece. She means everything to my mother, and now it looks like Charlotte is on her last journey.
At 98 she has lived a good life. A teacher, she has always loved talking and learning and reading and being part of everything. Now, blind, deaf and increasingly isolated and weakened, her daughters, and all of us who love Charlotte, are preparing ourselves to say goodbye to her.
And I don't know how to help my mother do that.
Charlotte's been a part of her life, a big part, for more than 80 years. I can't imagine the hole that will leave.
I'm so grateful to know that this is only temporary, and our sorrow is for ourselves because we will miss knowing she is here. And when we meet again it will be joyful.
I guess the one thing that I can remind my mom is that Charlotte's love for her will not end. And she will see her again someday.
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