Sunday morning my dad sent me a text that said to call him when I had a chance. I knew something was up. I called him when I got out of church and he told me that my Great Aunt Ellen passed away on Saturday around noon.
Even though I knew that the last 4-6 years or so she'd been battling Breast Cancer and I knew she was no longer suffering, I had to be a little selfish and wish she was still with us. She was my grandma's sister and her partner in crime. Very seldom did you get one without the other. Auntie Ellen was 10 years older than Grandma to the year, but you'd never know that.
By reading her obituary I realized that Uncle Leonard had proceeded her in death 21 years earlier, 1995. August 30, 1995 to be exact. All I could remember was that was the first funeral I attended and I was in Junior High. Then my great grandfather passed away November 13, 1998. That was a Friday the 13th.
The story about Great Grandpa F. was in October of that year he asked my Great Grandma if November of that year was a Friday the 13th. She told him no, she thought it was Saturday the 13th. Then the week before he asked her again, is next Friday the 13th? She said, yes, I believe it is. He said, That's a good day.
He passed away on Friday, November 13, 1998. My great grandpa died in the house he was born in. He was 10 days shy of his 108th birthday. When he and great grandma got to old and needed some assistance, Uncle Leonard had already passed away and Auntie Ellen moved in with them. This was about the time that I really started spending a lot of time with my Auntie Ellen because my grandma retired about this time and went out Monday-Friday about 8-5 and I spent a lot of time with all of them.
After great grandpa passed away, great grandma decided to sell the farm and she moved in with Auntie Ellen in town. First time she'd lived in town I think pretty much her whole life. She lived there until November 1, 2002, when heaven gained an angel. My great Grandma's goal was to make it to 100 years old. She was 101 when she passed away.
After that, grandma went in to Auntie Ellen's a lot to work on quilts or baking goodies for church functions, etc. It didn't matter. By this time, I was driving and out of high school. During the summers I still went in and ate lunch with them a lot or just went in of a morning or afternoon to chat. I'll always cherish those memories that I have from taking time in to spend time with them. Both of them. Auntie Ellen and Grandma!
The preacher told stories today of Auntie Ellen. Stories I didn't know and stories I did know. My favorite was when he said that Auntie Ellen will be waiting for Grandma and the first thing she'll say is look at these Harley Davidson's they have up here in heaven. Although I want to be selfish and keep my grandma quite a bit longer.
Auntie Ellen's obituary:
Ellen passed away Saturday, July 2, 2016, at her home. She was born April 27, 1922 to Walter and Nellie. She was a homemaker and bookkeeper. Ellen was a member of the PEO Sisterhood, Red Hatters, D.A.R., Methodist Women's Group, and a member of the United Methodist Church.Auntie Ellen was 94 years old and had a great life! She was always willing for an adventure.
Ellen was united in marriage to Leonard on July 31, 1941. He preceeded her in death on August 30, 1995. Survivors include a son, Tom, One daughter, Kathleen. One brother, Marvin. Two sisters, Carolyn and Dorothy. Five grandchildren, eight great grandchildren, and seven great-great-grandchildren. She was preceeded in death by her parents, husband, a sister, and a granddaughter.
I can tell you, I want to be like her. I want to say yes to all kinds of experiences. You never know what saying Yes will get for you :).