Last week, my aunt passed away, and I took a few days off to go the the wake and funeral. I grew up in a 4 family house (a small apartment building) and she and her family lived right above us. She lived to 89, and I had the honor of presenting a eulogy I wrote with the the help of my wife and daughter at the funeral service.
Today, I’d like to share it with my readers.
Aunt Sue often joked with me that I was the black sheep of the family. So in order to keep my reputation I would first like to share with you the worst thing ever said to me about Aunt Sue. “She wants everybody to love her.” This truly was the worst thing that you could say and yet if everyone in the world felt as she did the world would be a far better place. On the other hand, if no one felt this way it would be a world in which I wouldn’t want to live. I know I moved away from Brooklyn a long time ago, 25 years, but during that time I spoke to Aunt Sue often enough that I felt I never left.
In every conversation she spoke of the love she had for her family, her children, her grandchildren, her great grand children. She spoke about a mother’s love and how she would have trouble going to sleep before getting that phone call telling her that her daughter was home and safe.
I’m sorry that it took until the second half of my life to really understand some of this. I wish that I had learned as a child what I learned these past decades that Aunt Sue was so full of love it wasn’t something that she could run out of. She had enough for everyone who wanted to share it.
My family often sent cards and spoke to Aunt Sue on the phone to remind her how much she was loved and missed. My daughter often asked why Aunt Sue wouldn’t come and live with us because we had plenty of room and air conditioning. She came to understand that her home was where Aunt Sue was most comfortable and close to most of her family. Aunt Sue and my wife enjoyed wonderful conversations and never a visit or call would pass without Aunt Sue imparting some words of wisdom and the always “I love you.”
The above photo is over 44 years old as my Uncle Al passed away in 1966.