|Uncle Bill, Aunt Pearl, Sheryl|
My mom and I spent five days traversing her old stomping grounds. We met up with a few of her siblings and spouses and my cousins. Her oldest brother and spouse, my Uncle Bill and Aunt Pearl, are my God-parents. I first remember meeting them on a cold December night, when we were visiting during Christmas vacation. I never knew snow could be so cold, and I understood why my parents left the freezing temperatures of the Midwest for the mild weather of Southern California!
During that December trip, we stayed with my Uncle Bill and Aunt Pearl for about a week, not venturing out much because of the cold. For entertainment, Aunt Pearl gave my sisters and me some tips to playing the organ (although we played the piano). We also baked, cooked, played cards, and bunch of silly things to pass the time. It was simple fun!
After that trip, I started writing my relatives frequently. I sent photos and letters whenever a special event in my life occurred. My cousin, Anne, was really the only one who responded with regularity, but she kept me apprised of all in her family.
So it's been over 40 years since the December trip, and now my mom and I visit the same people, albeit much older. Time had changed our physical features, but the same spirit of spunk remained. I spent some one-on-one time with my Aunt Pearl. She was still spry and sharp--at times. When she wasn't, she said something, probably in Hungarian so I wouldn't know that she probably said something she should not have. Then she smiled and cursed her "forgetfulness" or "slowness" with renewed patience and grace. She laughed heartily, and carried on. We all knew her time on earth was limited, as is all of ours.
I remember her laugh from 40 years ago. Nothing loud and annoying. Just a hearty laugh. It was truly an endearing exclamation of joy and happiness.
Last Friday I received a call, informing me of my Aunt Pearl's passing. Her family had gathered at her side, and she passed quietly. I pray she passed peacefully.
Dear Aunt Pearl, I hope the heavens are filled with the sound of your joyful laughter. Love, Sheryl