This week, my extended family suffered a heartbreaking loss. One of my aunts passed on to the other side. Of the five siblings, only one remains. My cousins, my sisters, and I take comfort in the fact that the other four are together again with no tears or pain. And even though we’re scattered across the country, we remain close and support each other.
Ours was a tight-knit family group that usually congregated around my mom—she was the oldest. It’s said that cousins are your first and closest friends. So true!
Some of my best memories are of us spending summer days in our backyard playhouse—a converted two-seater. Hey, it’d been moved onto our yard, so there was no pit under it and it’d been thoroughly cleaned before we played there. Dad took out the seat, boarded up the floor, and built a lean-to across the front. We had the only two-room playhouse in the area. It was even furnished—an old sideboard with the doors removed served as bunk beds in the back room and our living room suite consisted of a wooden bench and aluminum lawn chairs. We even laid a brick patio in front between the playhouse and a wooden A-frame swing that Dad built. Fancy!
The burn-barrel was located behind our playhouse in the back corner of our yard. Since the shortest distance between two points is a straight line—adult feet, kid feet, dog and cat feet, and bicycle/tricycle tires wore a diagonal path in the grass between the house and the playhouse. Actually, our yard consisted mostly of clover instead of grass—bee stings on bare feet hurt something awful!
Another family owns that house now—more than 50 years later. But the path is still visible—a reminder of those summer days long ago.
The news of my aunt’s death came via telephone on the morning that my son and his family were headed back to Indiana after spending a few days of their vacation with us. We hadn’t seen him in over a year and hadn’t met his sons.
As I connect the two events in my mind, I realize that one generation leads to and makes way for the next. Just remember that every event, no matter how insignificant it seems, creates memories for your kids and grandkids—make sure those memories are the best!
It’s been nice chatting with you all. My sisters and I are working on an heirloom project for the cousins who just lost their mom—more about that later. I look forward to hearing from you soon—Over the Back Fence. Tell me your ideas about turning your memories into keepsakes. I’d love to help!