Monday my Aunt passed away. She had pancreatic and liver cancer. The past two months she has been hospitalized and this was expected, but not expected. She leaves behind 2 beautiful daughters in high school.
She was the youngest of my father's siblings, the baby. Not even 50 years old. She is also the first in this generation to succumb to Lynch's deadly reach. It just goes to show that no matter how proactive you are, sometimes, it still gets you. A sobering thought.
There are so many fond memories I have of her. When I was 15 she took me to my aunt's farm to start horseback riding again. My love of horses blossomed from then on. I rode for 3 years before going to college and not having the time to continue. On those weekly Saturday excursions, she would let me drive her little red car. It was a stick shift. So I learned to drive before I was 16 on the rocky driveway into the farm and sometimes even on the open roads up there. She was a great rider.
I remember going away for the annual ski trip with the family and my brother and I hitching a ride up with her and my then uncle. So many great memories on those trips.
I remember going to the baby shower for her first baby, my cousin.
I remember the pool at her house and the dogs and the parties we had there. I had my high school graduation party at her house. It was a blast!
As I got older, I lost contact with her in the sense that we didn't see each other as often as we had. But just like the others, I saw her at all the family gatherings.
And just this past October I was blessed to be able to spend a few days with her and my other aunt in Maine. It is a few days I will never forget.
When I heard the news she had cancer in April, my heart broke. But I never gave up hope that she would survive. We are a strong family. But sometimes, we survive by leaving this world. She may be gone but she will never, ever be forgotten. She is no longer in pain, no longer suffering, no longer wondering if and when she will get better. She always had a smile on her face and love in her heart. And until the day I join her, I will always remember that smiling face and the games she loved to play.
Rest now Aunt Marybeth. We will always love you.