Thanksgiving and Christmas are bittersweet this year. In the last month my family has lost two wonderful people.
Aunt Susie was a ray of sunshine, who had a smile for everyone. Outgoing and effervescent, she was the mother of my two first cousins and I never saw her without her signature grin. She was married to Uncle Blair my mother’s brother who passed away over thirty years ago. Cousin Dave said everyone in her family was a smiler, which I’d not noticed, but was true. Her wide smile and sparkling blue eyes are missed. Aunt Susie, you were a beacon.
Now, my uncle, married to my father’s sister, yes, the beloved Aunt Doris has passed. Uncle Mal was solid as a rock. A quiet, reserved man, he was small in stature but strong as an ox and as they aged my grandmother, father and aunt all steadied themselves on his always quickly offered arm. Mal never complained, had a soft chuckle and quick mind. He was married to my aunt for 57 years. They had no children so Sister Nan and I counted them more as step-parents than uncle and aunt. Uncle Mal, you were the rock and you are already missed.
The commonality in these two very different people, aside from the fact that they were married to my parents’ only siblings, was that I never once heard them say a negative word against anyone. Never. Nor did I ever hear either of them brag. They were simply the best.
And so, the holidays are a little less bright this year.