with love.


I spent the past few days at home with my family, saying goodbye to my sweet aunt Sue. I sang along with unplugged Manchester songs on Alt Nation and cried as I drove in my car. I held my dad's hand again and exchanged silent nods of understanding with my brother. I got to hug and talk with an uncle I thought I might not ever see again, and I listened to bits of our history from extended family members I had never had the chance to meet.

One thing I forget sometimes about being from a small town is that when something tragic happens, everyone rallies around to give you a big hug. Through cards, flowers, cookies and casseroles. (Up north, we call them hot-dishes.) When I go home, people still call me "Jenny" and people in passing vehicles wave when I drive into town. My best friend since elementary called me to talk before I could call her, and managed to cheer up my whole family after the funeral. Even just watching Vera Bronleewe – who taught piano lessons to almost every single kid in Buffalo Center for generations – play Amazing Grace and How Great Thou Art was comforting. Because everything felt like home. And it felt like family.

Sue was a very sweet aunt and an extremely independent, strong woman. She overcame insurmountable odds from her childhood, yet was always happy and smiling. She was real and funny and believed in second chances. She made amazing sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top during the holidays. She volunteered at homeless shelters and helped anyone who needed her. She was a great listener and always had a open ear and an open heart. (We love you and will miss you, Aunt Sue.)

13 comments:

  1. awww....such a lovely tribute..(-: I can't believe how much lotus looks like you in that picture with your aunt - what a nice thing to have...xo

    ReplyDelete
  2. you've clearly been blessed to have her in your lives, & i'm sure she'd appreciate your beautiful words.
    take care

    ReplyDelete
  3. So sorry for your loss but happy for the memories you will always have. I'm from a small town of about 300 people in SE Kansas and miss it very much but do get to go home to visit often. Hugs to you! PS I really enjoy reading your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thoughts are with you Jen and your family. What a beauty of a tribute for such a what a wonderful person and Aunt from your sweet words and photos.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I hope your treasured memories
    bring you comfort day by day.

    P.S. It's amazing how much your daughter looks like you (especially in the first picture!)

    ReplyDelete
  6. so tan already said it but i was going to say it anyway..... BIG HUGE hugs!!!
    love you!

    ReplyDelete
  7. So sorry for your loss, beautiful photos and memories to cherish. Lo looks so much like you when you were little xx

    ReplyDelete
  8. so sorry for your loss and what a beautiful post you made in her honor..your memories of her are so vivid and it was so nice of you to have shared them ...sending another big hug jen

    ReplyDelete
  9. How beautiful, Jen. You can tell just how much she meant to you and what a beautiful person she was. What a great tribute.

    Also, and I know both have been said, HUGE hugs and my god, Lo is a mini-you. Crazy!

    ReplyDelete
  10. so sorry sweetie...hugs, big ones.

    ReplyDelete
  11. so sorry, babe. and sorry this is late. all my love coming your way.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sorry to hear about your loss, Jen. My deepest sympathy.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by and saying hi!