As you read this, I’m winging my way across country on an American Airlines plane to Atlanta. My mother’s youngest sister died last weekend, and I’m attending the services in Perry, Georgia. My Aunt Doris Clay lived a rich life until leaving it at 96, way longer than either of her sisters walked this earth.
Doris Gibson Clay
My Aunt Margaret died maybe 30 years ago, and I flew with my mother to Charlotte, NC for my aunt’s services. (Could not locate those pictures. 😦 ) The summer after my mother died, 14 years ago, I flew to Georgia to visit with my aunt and cousins. I just felt compelled to re-connect. After that Bob and I flew out there together for a short visit. Then all the cousins decided we needed to do something more on the order of a family reunion.
Two different summers we got a great deal of the family together on Tybee Island. Both times we had a lot of fun. The last time we went, our daughter Kathryn was pregnant with Lilly, her second child who is now going on seven. Good intentions weren’t enough to keep us getting together every couple of years, but Facebook has worked its miracles of keeping folks connected.
Pictures from a family visit over 40 years ago.
My mother Lillian (with her eyes traditionally closed!), Aunt Doris, and Aunt Margaret
While both my mother and Aunt Margaret (who had the sexiest walk of anyone I’ve ever seen. If I concentrate I can replicate it.) 😊 worked outside the home, Aunt Doris was the sister who was the consummate homemaker, cooking, baking, helping out others, serving in her church. When Granny Gibson couldn’t live on her own anymore, Aunt Doris, her husband, and three kids (my cousins Harold, Doris Ann, and John) made room for her. Doris Ann, as a teenager even shared her bedroom with Granny. You know that couldn’t have been easy.
My cousin Doris Ann with her mother at a recent BD party.
Aunt Doris had a screened in porch and spent a lot of time out there. I’ve seen lots of comments on FB referencing that porch and comments about what a good woman she was. All the stuff you’d want to be said about you.
I hope my cousins from North Carolina, Aunt Margret’s sons & family, come. Haven’t seen them in a long time.
The visitation is Thursday afternoon with the service on Friday morning. I’m sure it will be packed. Aunt Doris had lived in Perry almost forever and two of her kids have always lived there, too, other than going away for school and have raised their kids in this quintessential smaller southern town.
Aunt Doris on the right with her mother Granny on the left from over 40 years ago.
My mother used to love to visit her family there and in Columbia, S.C. I remember her often crying when we drove away. Now the Gibson girls are all together again. While those of us who are left, miss our mothers, aunts, and grandmothers, still it’s comforting to know they no longer hurt and are in fact reunited with their loved ones.
After Granny died, she communicated with my mother Lillian (for whom my first granddaughter was named which made made my heart bubble over with tears when it was announced). I don’t doubt that happened Mom had this experience. She was very spiritual. I wonder if Mom tried to reach out to Aunt Doris toward the end to say, “Come on. We’re waiting for you.”
My mother, Granny, Aunt Doris, Aunt Margaret with her granddaughter Mimi.
I need to thank Judi Perrotti for squeezing me in yesterday. My regular appointment was scheduled for Friday. Thanks to my daughter Kathryn for picking up her niece today, when I normally get Sarah. Thanks to Bob for being so supportive of me making this trip, including looking out for Charley. Several other events had to be rearranged, but none of that matters. What matters is families sticking together in tough times. (I really need to rescue my photos and get them digitized; they are fading away. 😦 )
Do you have family that sticks together? Are you now the “oldest” generation or do you still have parents living? Love to hear from you, but it may be Thursday evening before I can log on and comment. I appreciate your patience.