Aunt Lois passed away three weeks ago on May 8th. She was Uncle Dale's wife, my mom's second oldest sister, my loving aunt. Her death did take me by surprise, I guess I didn't expect it so soon after Uncle Dale passed away. Yet, it feels like she passed away several years ago, once the Alzheimer's took possession of her mind and body.
It's difficult to say exactly how I felt about her death. I suppose Uncle Dale's funeral served as a sort of farewell for the two of them. Which dissipated most feelings of sadness I might otherwise have had once the news of her death was relayed to me. Instead, I felt happy. Happy that finally, after several years, the stranger that once occupied her body has now left. I wasn't able to make it to the funeral, but both my mom and brother said that she looked like herself again, lying at peace in her coffin. I am happy that Aunt Lois is able to reunite with Uncle Dale!
Uncle Dale and Aunt Lois, August 2006
My stop in Wyoming during my move to Oregon.
Aunt Lois took me in as one of her own grandchildren, just as Uncle Dale did. She was a wonderful woman. I know that she had a reputation of having a sharp tongue as well as having had a good streak of getting on people's bad sides... as people likewise often got on her bad side. For some reason, I was fortunate enough to always stay on her good side. I kind of feel special that way. I don't have very many memories of her being upset with me. And the memories I do have of her being upset with me, always resulted in me winning her over. I suppose you could say I had her wrapped around my finger... Perhaps because I'm her baby sister's baby? Truthfully, every one of her grandchildren probably say the same thing - they had her wrapped around their finger.
I just know that I was one of the very few that was allowed to use the indoor bathroom at the family cabin. And I remember on one occasion, I was able to convince her to make apricot syrup for the traditional family pancake breakfast (after she shot down a handful of other requests for the same syrup).
Aunt Lois was a beautiful seemstress. I loved receiving packages in the mail from her because it was usually something special that she sewed for me. I still wear the pair of pajama bottoms she made me nearly 12-years ago! And they're still in tip-top shape! I LOVE them!
I could go on and on about how much I loved this woman! And I think it had to do with how much she loved me! She is someone special. I can't wait to see her again!
Aunt Lois and me at Uncle Dale's funeral
(photograph courtesy of my cousin, Abbie Rufener)