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A tribute to my aunt

Are you close to your family?  How well do you know them?  Family is an important part of a balanced life.

On July 21st my aunt was put into hospice and on the morning of August 20th she went to be with Jesus.  I had the honor to speak at her funeral.  I struggled with what to say about someone who meant so much.

This is a tribute to my Aunt Marilyn.  Things that I will always remember, words that describe her, as well as memories, and our relationship.

Things that I will always remember

Aunt Marilyn, I will always remember your laugh (give example), you picking your teeth with anything that you could find, but preferring those wooden toothpicks, your love for drinking coffee with liquid creamer, and visions of you cleaning up the kitchen after a get together.  You were always lively and fun.  You always made everyone feel welcome.  I will always remember how special that you made me feel.  Most importantly, how hard you fought to live and how hard Kim fought not to let you go.

Several years ago mom opened her home to sister sleep overs and I would show up to take pictures to capture the memory.  Occasionally, I would get invited to sleep over too.  Most of the time, the sisters stayed up late talking and the next morning I would see Aunt Marilyn with her cup of coffee and cigarette sitting outside; chatting with Aunt Brenda about everyday life.

Once we were going to pick up Aunt Sharion and we were going through the toll booth, we scrambled just enough change.  I can’t remember who was throwing the change in the bucket, BUT they missed the slot and Aunt Marilyn jumped out of the car to retrieve it.  As she bent over to pick up the lost change, she started yelling and popping up and down there’s all kinds of missed coins.  Even though the cars piled behind us she quickly picked up missing coins from the ground yelling out funny things as she did.  We laughed and laughed.  These are memories I will cherish.

Words that I would use to describe you are

Brave:  You were brave in WHATEVER life threw your way;  I honestly can’t think of anything that you feared.

Strong (physically): Tiny but mighty mom would say.

Overcomer: Grief stricken when Uncle Troy passed away, but you picked up the pieces and managed to go on.  You found happiness and love with Uncle Robert until he was called home and once again you carried on.

Night owl: Aka not a morning person

Witty: We were texting back/forth one day and one of your text read...“I’m a handful girl ask Kim always something lol.”

Survivor: Cancer and of life challenges

Our relationship

I feel all my life, we had a good relationship.  For the last two years Aunt Marilyn and I texted and talked more frequently regarding Uncle Jr’s finances and trying to get him help for his pipes and house restoration from the winter storm damages. Sometimes she would text a few lines, sometimes she would text a novel, and sometimes I had no idea what she was trying to say.  For example,   August 1st I texted her Good morning and sent her a picture of the sunrise.  She texted me that evening around 9 pm ----------Ofiujuuu uj liuoknnnoinnnn.  I texted back Not sure what that says But I think its says I am your favorite niece.  I told her good night and sweet dreams and she texted back a reply.  “Then it’s true” and of course, we emoji laughed.

She was not only my aunt but she was also my friend.  I could tell her anything.  She knew exactly how I felt about her because I told her often how special she was to me.

When you would call her or go to visit she would always say "Hey baby."

When you told her that you loved her she would say "I love you more."

My dear aunt, I will forever cherish the memories and experiences that we shared … until we meet again.  I love you more!