Today was the day of the small family service for my aunt, in Minnesota, at the gravesite of many relatives from my mom's (Holasek) side. I couldn't be there because it's too hot and humid right now - and I finally am listening to my body about heat - my body hates it. I think it's that I can't sweat, so I get in trouble. Anyway, I had my younger brother, Tom, read something. And I thought a lot about my aunt today - I still don't think it seems "real" that she is not here. Anyway... I think Tom read something like the following... (imagine long Os as part of Minnesotan accent my aunt had).
Ohhhhhhhh… Aunt Dot… it's Bethy
I have so many memories of you and it is hard to think you are not just a phone call away. It's also hard to think you may not randomly call me tonight, or that I might get something you found interesting in the mail, whether it be something on Lorie Line, on MS, on a Monet exhibit, or even something on protein powder!
The last time I emailed you I told you how wonderful my walking was, and it keeps getting better. I wish you could see it, but your spirit knows.
We had so many good times, and so many good laughs. There just weren't many sad moments with you.
You are one of the only people I know who never said a bad thing about anyone and would change the subject anytime I had something "not positive" to say.
You called me when I was in college and said, "Betheeeeeeeeeee, are you on that medicine, because I was on the same one and we are alike and I wasn’t myself when I was on it." That call came after I wasn’t myself and I WAS on that same medicine, and you were right. "Betheeeeeeeeee, you need to go off of that medicine." And so I did.
The time I spent living in Minnesota was made better by you. I got to go to your house and see Monet paintings and we would talk about them. Lorie Line – those are great memories. I would drive to Mankato for my birthday, and then you and Bill would take me to see a Lorie Line concert. And we did our annual leaf-viewing trip. And you worried about me, which runs in the family. You would call me and say “Betheeeeeeeeeeeee? This your aunt dot.” I never did tell you that the "Betheeeeeee" part gave it away. I just smiled because, well, it made me smile. I also had caller ID, so I knew when you were calling.
When Lori was born you came and rocked her endlessly, singing "How much is that doggy in the window?" Now she wants a puppy – I’m going to blame it on that song. But Lori also loves to sing, so maybe some of that came from you.
And then there was church. You had come several times to my church and finally said "Beth, you keep coming here so you should just join." And then, yes then, just as you would do or my mom would do (and now I do these types of things, too), you just walked up to someone and told them who I was and that I should join! Someday soon, Lori will hate that I do that kind of thing. But then she will do the same kind of thing at some point because it runs in the family.
And when you and my mom would get together - there was no mistaking that you were sisters! Ohhhhh yes. Sisters from Minnesoooooota who loved to laugh.
You brought a video camera to Grandpa's memorial and we have all seen it. We have seen that we would only let you capture the backs of us, and you can hear us, and you, all laughing as you try to capture someone's face. But with that camera, you captured Tim and Tom taking the "famous" red wagon down the hill, and all of us, including you, laughing. THAT is a memory to be kept!
I’m not there today, but I am there in spirit. Your spirit will be lifted even higher today. At some point, there will be laughter, and you will be there laughing too.
And maybe at some point, that red wagon will go down another steep hill.
Aunt Dot, this is Bethy. And I love you very much.
(Sniff. Miss her. Hugs to heaven.)