Sunday, July 22, 2007


My aunt, Honey

Saturday my mother and I went to visit my aunt (her sister), affectionately known as "Honey" by everyone in the family. Even my mother calls her Honey. Her given birth name is Florence, but I've only known her as Honey. I'm not completely sure how (or when) that name got started, but it has always seemed to fit her better than Florence.

Honey is 83 years old--84 in September. Right now I hope she makes that birthday. A few weeks ago my mom called and said that Honey wasn't doing well, so on Ana's birthday we went to visit Honey. I was saddened to see how frail she had become. For the first time, Honey looked old and it was impossible not to realize that Honey won't be here forever. (I wish I could include a picture of Honey from earlier years. This one is from my recent visit).

I remember visiting Honey as a little girl. My immediate family lived about 200 miles from the rest of the family. At least twice a year we would travel to visit all the relatives. We always spent some time at Honey and Jim's (my uncle's birth name was Oliver, but we always called him Jim...I don't really know that whole story either). Time at their farm included tending their sheep, riding their shetland ponies, and time around the kitchen table. Each visit included visiting at the table...the adults drinking coffee, the kids milk or "nectar" (basically kood-aid) and then some sort of sweet treat, which often was baked by Honey. My uncle Jim had an incredible sweet tooth. I remember him spooning sugar on watermelon!

Honey is now in the hospital. Her body is getting tired and her organs are struggling to do their work. I was glad I got to see her again. It was hard saying good-bye and wondering if I will be able to make another trip while there is still time to visit with her. Please keep her in your prayers.

As hard as the visits have been for me, I realize they are so much harder for my mom. She is facing losing her last remaining sibling. My mom is the youngest of four (Honey is the oldest; their 2 brothers have died in the past 10 years). I can't imagine what it would be like to lose the last person that grew up beside you and shared your childhood. I just can't fathom that sort of loss.

I realize that I truly am becoming part of the "older generation". My children are grown. My nephews and nieces are now the ones raising the babies. That's o.k., but the hard part is losing my older generation, my history. The hard part is saying good-bye.

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