Saturday, September 19, 2009

Remembering Ellen

If my family has an icon, it's my Aunt Ellen. She was a larger than life presence in all walks of life for me, and for all of us. She was a hilarious tale teller of her own adventures and misadventures, a lively, confident and gifted cook and organizer at our rambunctious Thanksgiving gatherings, an endlessly energetic host during wonderful weeks of fishing, sunbathing, eating and swimming up in Canada, a knowing and generous listener and giver of support, a powerful fighter with enormous strength, the eldest sister of a remarkably varied and gifted assortment of siblings, the pint-size (sorry, Ellen!) wife of 'the big fella' who nonetheless held sway wherever she was and who usually outshone the rest of the room, the loving mother and grandmother of another remarkable group of people. She was, of course, many more things, and I'm sure any one of us could go on and on as our memories visit and revisit all the vivid times we have spent with her. I have spent much of the last twenty-four hours, when I learned of her passing, smiling at her antics and the good times we had together, and feeling the love she continually spread amongst her family, even as I keenly feel her loss and a sadness welling within me. I hear her laugh more than anything else, a blessing as I can't help but feel my spirits lift whenever I remember it. Her last eight months were very difficult, and she showed an unbelievable resilience and strength throughout. If anybody was going to beat the odds, it was Ellen, and she did so several times, but dust to dust as they say, and all of us eventually make our way out of this world and into another. It is of great comfort to all of us that her last moments and days were peaceful, and I wish her the absolute best in her new journey, and I wish the rest of us and in particular her husband, children, grandchildren, brothers and sisters as much happiness and peace as possible in the days to come. I love you, Ellen!


Anonymous said...

Beautifully written and and perfect description of my Mom, Brian. Thank you so much. Bob

Beth said...

I agree with Bob. You described the very essence of Ellen. Love, Beth