Day 155: Aunt Gladys

8 Sep

My Aunt Gladys was my Uncle Tommy’s wife. When they were dating I was a toddler and they liked to take me out with them. The story I remember most (probably because I heard it so often) is when they took me for an ice cream cone. As I recall, we were in a red car, with me in the front seat between them (back before baby car seats!) Into my hands they put an ice cream cone and as I tried to take a bite – plop! the ice cream scoop fell onto the seat. At this point in the story, my Aunt would be laughing; I don’t remember her caring about the mess – it was a story about having fun together.

Early last Saturday morning I heard my cell phone ringing. It was my sister calling to tell me that my Aunt Gladys had died during the night. Neither of us knew that she had been in the hospital for heart surgery (which the Doctors thought was successful) and so we were (all) taken by surprise.

Had I not been booked for an event tomorrow, I would have gone to the funeral. My cousin said, “Don’t worry about coming; she’s not here.” And I told him, “I know that. I wouldn’t be going for her – I’d be going to spend time with you and your family.” It seems that’s all we can do at times like this.

Two days ago, in addition to my “pie of the day”, I baked a brownie pie with Cary’s Dark Chocolate Espresso Toffee and mailed it to my cousin’s family on Staten Island. It was my hope that it would arrive today and that the family would share it after the service. It was my way of “being with them” even though I am thousands of miles away.

After the funeral today, in honor of my Aunt Gladys, my cousin served “Bahama Mama’s.” It is the kind of cocktail that my Aunt might have had on a special occasion. Yesterday, I went out and purchased the ingredients so that I could join my family in toasting my Aunt. I needed to share this moment with them; it is still hard to believe I won’t see her again.

Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy.
Eskimo proverb

Bahama Mama
1/2 oz Rum
1/2 oz Coconut Rum
1/2 oz Grenadine
1 oz Orange Juice
1 oz Pineapple Juice
1 Cup Crushed Ice
Combine all ingredients in blender and serve.

2 Responses to “Day 155: Aunt Gladys”

  1. Wendy September 10, 2011 at 4:00 PM #

    I’m truely sorry for your loss — what a wonderful story of fun and caring with you and your Aunt Gladys. You have me remembering my own late Aunt and the fun times we had. The pie sounds delicious, but joining your extended family in toasting your Aunt is really inspired! and looks delicious! The star proverb is moving, too. Thank you for sharing with us.

  2. donna carlin calano September 10, 2011 at 11:09 PM #

    Dear Karen, While we didn’t get to sample your pie, we heard all about your pie a day from Wayne who is so proud of you..I remember the times spent with you and all the Powells ( I loved your Mom and still miss her)and have similiar memories of being taken places by Aunt Gladys & Uncle Tommy…I think you are remembering the Chevy Impala that he hd because i too went places with them in that car! My favorite was going to Midland Beach with them..they were always so much fun and what I will always remember is how Aunt Gladys never lost her love of life and her family. Always laughing, always there for us..I got to see her dance at my nephews wedding in July and and had a great visit with her the following week..I will never stop missing her and I am glad that I was able to find your blog and see the tribute you made for Aunt Gladys…We got to see Janice
    and even though it was a terrible time for all of us it was really good to see her after all these years.

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