My Beautiful Aunt

Have you ever lost someone you truly love?

I have. This week actually. It’s funny how two sentences can change things in a split second. 

Last Saturday, my husband, Little Bit, and I were on our way to buy a new truck when I got the news that my aunt had unexpectedly passed away.

My hand instantly went to my mouth accompanied by a verbal, “Oh my God.” Somehow I got through the truck paperwork without my tears flooding the desk. Since then I’ve been stuck in the sea of disbelief. 

For days I have been racking my brain, trying to think of something perfect to say about her, just something perfect to sum up what she means to me. Nothing but heartache has spilled onto my paper. 

Somehow I’ve got it stuck in my head that whatever I write must be grand in scale. I keep going back to the story I wrote in December when grandma Wilma passed away. 

That story was read by the minister during grandma’s funeral and I think that because my aunt was there and heard it, I feel like I owe my aunt her own story.

But, what I’ve discovered is, she IS that story. Who she was and the way she lived her life is embedded in those words. Her name fits right in between grandma Irene’s, Esther’s and Irene’s. She belongs there. She wore Iowa well, too.

Another thing I’m learning this week is that there’s no such thing as perfect when it comes to heart matters. If you picture your life as a great big heart, it’s easy to see that things don’t squeeze into it perfectly. Life isn’t perfect. It’s flawed and messy and amazing all in one breath.

When I think of my aunt, I see a giant heart next to an empty box of assorted crayons. Instead of the crayons being neatly in their places, they’re scattered on the table, paper torn off, and the colors used up. 

Her love was big and open. She gave it often and freely. In fact, she’s actually my dad’s cousin, but she let us call her aunt all our lives. She lived loudly. She endured some rough times, yet she carried on. She didn’t have to, but she chose to. She was brave, loving, and ornery. 

She was genuine, compassionate, and happy. She smiled every time I saw her. She knew me all my life and even though we didn’t see each other very much, I knew she loved me. I could feel it. Yes, when I think of her heart, it’s colored wayyyy outside the lines. 

That’s the heart I want. I want scribbles. Forget a heart that’s divided neatly into compartments of family, work, friends, and hobbies. I want all my colors intertwined and all my life experiences muddled together just like hers were. 

Oh, how I miss her. It hurts my heart to know that a week ago today she was here, but a week ago tomorrow, she wasn’t. 

One thing about her was, she survived when she lost her loved ones. She was able to keep breathing and carry on. She did it gracefully. The best I can tell, she’d want me to do the same. Here’s to my beautiful aunt.  


23 thoughts on “My Beautiful Aunt

  1. karenlee February 12, 2016 / 4:56 pm

    If that is you with your aunt, it certainly appears that she made you happy. I love that she lived loudly. How fabulous! I’ll take flawed and messy any day…. it’s better that way. <3

    • Jessica Adam February 12, 2016 / 5:14 pm

      Yes ma’am. That’s me. :) Thank you for reading. Means a lot to me. I’m with you, flawed and messy is the way to be.

  2. Blair (The Shameful Sheep) February 12, 2016 / 5:56 pm

    I’m sorry for your loss. Your aunt sounds like she was truly an amazing person. What you wrote here, as a tribute to her, was beautiful. I didn’t know her but I have a feeling she would agree. <3 My thoughts are with you!

    • Jessica Adam February 12, 2016 / 6:29 pm

      Oh my goodness, Miss Blair… You have no idea how much that means to me about her agreeing. You are a heart-melter. Bless you for that.

      She really was amazing. I feel lucky that I knew her and even more lucky that she loved me. :)

  3. Pan February 12, 2016 / 11:05 pm

    I agree with Blair, Jessica.. I believe you wrote her story on the grandest scale possible .. A heart interwined with life.. The crayon box analogy is a perfect example.. If your Aunt had a chance to read this, she would cry happy tears to know her legacy is her love and that you carry that on within you.. πŸ’›

    • Jessica Adam February 13, 2016 / 5:27 am

      Oh my gosh, Pan. THANK YOU! Thank you for grandest scale, intertwined, crayon box, happy tears, legacy. All of those lift this wounded heart and bring out a smile in a tough week. You’re definitely right, she’d cry happy tears knowing her legacy is love… Thank you so much.

      • Pan February 13, 2016 / 5:54 am

        Every good reminder of her is the way she will continue to hug you through life..

  4. Miriam February 13, 2016 / 3:11 am

    My heart goes out to you Jessica. A beautiful post you’ve written for your Aunt at such a sad time. No doubt you’ll shed many more tears and always miss her but cherish the memories you have, they will keep her alive in your heart. She sounds like an amazing woman and one that would be so proud of you. I send you hugs and much love. xo

    • Jessica Adam February 13, 2016 / 5:17 am

      Miriam, a mere thank you sounds so trite. What you said envelops my heart and lifts it on a hard day. It’s been a tough week. Thank you…

      • Miriam February 13, 2016 / 5:22 am

        Not trite at all Jessica. Thinking of you and sending you a big hug.

          • Miriam February 13, 2016 / 5:40 am

            I’m here, with open arms. xo

          • Jessica Adam February 13, 2016 / 5:47 am

            Oh my gosh. You fill my heart with joy and light. My aunt would’ve loved you! That’s how she was, too. Like a house, with the lights on at all hours, coffee in the pot, and “welcome” on stand by.

            You make me smile on this day I’ve been dreading…

  5. Miriam February 13, 2016 / 5:56 am

    She sounds just amazing Jessica. And I’m glad if I’ve made you smile and lifted your spirit, even just a little. That’s what friends are for.

    • Jessica Adam February 13, 2016 / 6:01 am

      If we were neighbors, I’d be running over there. You know that, right? 😊

      • Miriam February 13, 2016 / 6:04 am

        I know. But I can already feel you here with me. Can’t you?

        • Jessica Adam February 13, 2016 / 6:15 am

          Of course! The ocean doesn’t stop friendship!

          • Miriam February 13, 2016 / 6:18 am

            It definitely doesn’t. I’m off to bed now. It’s 11.20pm here! Good night Jessica. Take care.

  6. Eskie Antics February 15, 2016 / 6:27 pm

    What a lovely, heartfelt tribute to your Aunt. My heart goes out to you and your family, stay strong like she would have wanted you to. Sending you my dearest wishes..

    • Jessica Adam February 15, 2016 / 6:57 pm

      Oh my, you’re truly kind and very sweet. Thank you.

        • Jessica Adam February 15, 2016 / 7:05 pm

          I’d say the exact same thing about you!

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