Monday, September 3, 2012

Good Bye Aunt Harriett

Today I said good-bye to my aunt Harriett. She lived a long, healthy, happy live. I would love to have half the adventures she had. She had  the most wonderful marriage to the love of her life,  and lived each day to the fullest. She was 92-years-old. It's only been the last few months that she hasn't felt well. She actually wore high heels up until she broke her hip five years ago. She didn't break her hip wearing heals, she broke it taking a picture of the flowers she got on her birthday. Harriett loved to talk. She would talk and talk, then cover her mouth and say, "Oh my, I'm talking too much", but then continue on talking. Her and her husband, Johnny, truly adored each other. Maybe it was because she talked so much, or because she said anything that popped into her head, but she always had knew what to say. When I lost babies, she told me, "It is the most horrible thing in the world. You'll never get over it." Then went on to tell me about the times she lost her newborn babies.It wasn't the politically correct thing to say. It really isn't something I would tell a grieving mother, but it did make me feel better. I realized it could have been worse (even though saying "it could be worse," really is the worst thing you can say), and I'll probably never get over it, but like her I can go on to live a happy live. When my mom died she said, "It's unfair that you are too young. It'll take a long time until it gets better, if ever." At the time I thought 'wow- thanks Harriett', but she was right. You just learn to live on. She was a living example of how you can't let tragedy define you. Nothing slowed her down. A few weeks before she died, she told me she was hoping to go to my cousin's wedding. I think it was a hint that she wanted me to take her. Harriett had something to say about everything, and could to relate to anything you are talking about. She worked at Hornbacher's for years in the meat department, usually handing out samples, and telling people what kind of meat and how much to serve for guests. That is actually kind-of funny, because Harriett always made the same amount of food whether she's cooking for three, or twenty. I bet there were a lot of hungry guests in Moorhead back in the day. When I started working at Hornbacher's, she was thrilled I was at her old stomping grounds, and I knew a lot of the same people. One of the people she knew was 'Alice'. Alice was a sweet, little old lady who gave out meat samples and always washed her dishes in the deli, where I worked. Actually, she didn't wash the dishes, one of us working did it for her as she talked to us. We all thought she was this sweet, tiny lady who couldn't even reach into the bottom of the sink. We loved when Alice came because she would tell us college kids how proud our parents must be and how wonderful we are. One Thanksgiving, Harriett asked me if I knew Alice. I got all excited because I loved Alice, I said, "Yes! She is so sweet!" Harriett replied in her normal tone, "Oh how I hate that woman." It was hilarious. I didn't think Harriett could hate anyone, and it was funny how calmly she said it. Turns out this woman would "steal" all of the good shifts from Harriett, and she would tell the person making the schedule that Harriett wanted her to. When I told Harriett Scott and I were going on a cruise for our honeymoon, she said, "Well I hope that lady doesn't crawl in bed with your guys like she did with Johnny and me." As if there is a lady living on the ship who goes around slipping into bed with people. I have many wonderful memories of her. In the past year, I've lost two uncles, a grandma and Harriett. I cried the night my grandma died, just because things should have been different my whole life with her- it was more out of anger. I cried a little at her funeral, because it reminded me so much of mom's funeral. At my uncles' I was sad. But Harriett's death has hit me the hardest. Of everyone who died, she was the closest. I'll miss her stories, her compliments, her nurturing, her funny ways, and her engaging personality. As she would say, "It'll take a long time to get over it."

1 comment:

debbie said...

Oh Sara, you are so right!