Every family has ... or should have ... an Aunt Lydia. 83 years old and a lovely old soul. She and Uncle Win were delightful to visit. "Oh, come on down to Calais (Maine) and we'll play cards and eat us some lobstah."
She had the downEast accent; calling Uncle Win an ahss followed by her happy chuckle made it less of an attack!
Winfield was a dynamo, enthusiastic and energetic. When we brought the grandkids to visit, he'd take them out into his kitchen garden to help him pull veggies for supper. Then he'd hike them up to the small pond he'd made in his back yard, surrounded by pinwheels and cartoon figures. When they traveled, they'd stop along the way and buy more figures for the pond. For the grandkids. For their own pleasure, as they sat in the evening looking up at the stars.
We lost Uncle Win to a heart attack some years back, but Lydia kept right on going. A breast cancer survivor, diabetic, she would raise her shirt and stick the needle in and never even pause.
When Win died, the entire small town turned out for his funeral. He left a big hole when he passed on.
Now, yesterday morning, we lost Lydia. She had been fading a bit, having breathing problems, was in a nursing home in Texas, near her daughter JoAnne. The decision was to make her comfortable, to ease the pain, to let her slip away. Lydia helped make that decision herself, and that last night, she and JoAnne laughed and talked about Win, even joked with the nurses. Then, in the early morning hours, Lydia's voice softened. She smiled and said quietly:
Win and I are going fishing now.
Those were her last words.