Thursday, October 16, 2008

The one

I bought the boots for Ciocia's January funeral. My long black boots. They're wearing out now. It was nearly three years ago I stood on that hill; p-man walking the stroller around. Naptime.

Ciocia's funeral was the first road trip we took. The Girl Friday was 16 months and I was 3 months pregnant. My girl traveled well to her Great-Great Auntie's funeral. They had met only once. In a hallway for just a moment when my girl was 3 weeks old. That was at funeral too.

This summer we traveled the same road to splash in the lake and buy cheap peaches by Ciocia's old house. A bliss for the children, pains for me.

Ciocia is the one for me. That person who existed beyond the pale. Equally loved by her family, her friends, co-workers, neighbours. A six foot tall, athletic, dark haired, baby sister of my grandmother she had no children. The world could scarcely know a greater misdeed, in my view, than what stood between her, and my Uncle John's, parenthood. A light of motherhood, hidden could not have been more wrongly shaded.

She was the one, as I say. She taught me to give till it hurts but she would not for one minute have carried on about it; I can't think how, or if, she ever said it to me. Just example. Purely empirical. Exemplary.

When we go away I often feel the pain of not traveling more. Not going to see family and friends more carelessly and freely. It is mostly because of Ciocia. My dearest most special aunt. A dream of turkey dinners, and fresh homemade doughnuts; stuffing ten dollars in my hand at each visit; sage beyond sage for every wayward worry I might indulge. I turn over how I wish my daughter might have known her. Her earnest and sincere friendliness, her generosity and boundless love-giving. I connect with the guilt of how I should have gone at least a couple times after Girl Friday was born and while Ciocia was alive.

But is all mirrors and clocks. A trick. This was the summer. This was the summer my girl would have remembered. This was the first year we would have had mountains of brownies and hours of fun. The year little boy-o would have giggled and giggled. The trips I missed were photo ops. I can worry I was too timid but what would Ciocia care. She was practical beyond practical. Babies she'd seen but people are a bit different. No elusive nerve for wayfinding of mine would have made her live these extra years. Nothing would have bridged the righteous and swift death that I know she rest assured would reunite her with her most beloved husband, John. Away from me and my little family.

I miss her so. Someone so pure of heart, a giver of every uncomplicated kindness, that's nice to have. I bring her forth when I can. I so wish the children could have had the blessing of her. Will try again tomorrow.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh. Ouch, beautiful.

You are teaching her to your children. (and the rest of us) By example.

8:44 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you know i know of what you speak. you know i know you know i love you.
and you know i'm sending you deep hugs.

9:13 p.m.  
Blogger Lumpyheadsmom said...

Your children will have the blessing of your memories of her.

I'm sorry.

10:39 p.m.  
Blogger Mad said...

Oh, this was such a stunning tribute. I'm so sorry I didn't see it before the weekend.

I feel this a lot with respect to my Mom. Miss M should've been able to know her. She should have seen the simple love and beauty that are her birthright.

9:25 a.m.  

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