Farewell Aunt Tillie

I’ve spent the last two days in Columbus. I went down for the funeral of my Aunt Tillie. It was sadly, also the funeral for my cousin Diane. I don’t post a lot of really personal stuff on my website, but I would be remiss to not acknowledge Aunt Tillie and the woman that she was.

Aunt Tillie was my Mother’s sister. They were less than two years apart and in many ways were like twins. They finished each other’s sentences and always spoke so highly of each other. They could not have been closer.

All of the childhood Thanksgivings I can remember were spent with our two families together. We alternated houses, so each sister had the chance to host. It was very much a communal meal. The visitor always provided dessert- and a cranberry salad that we still make every year. We always had the best time on Thanksgiving. I looked forward to it every year.

In recent years, Aunt Tillie developed problems with her short term memory. The last time we spoke she talked a lot about her childhood and about my mother. Every few minutes she would stop and ask who it was she was talking to. I loved our chats. I will miss them.

She was kind, sweet and I never heard her speak badly of anyone. She was a gracious, caring human being.

Like my mom, she loved animals. She started feeding a squirrel one year. The squirrel would climb the tree by their kitchen window and scratch on the window when it wanted to be fed. As the season went along the squirrel got quite big. As it climbed the branch to the window, the brand bowed under the weight of the squirrel. It would have to reach up to get to the window. Every time she heard it scratching, she would run out to feed it. Baby squirrels that fell out of the giant oak tree in their front yard were cared for until they could fend for themselves.

Her daughter, Diane preceded her in death by a few days. Diane was so smart and very crafty. Over the years she gave me numerous gifts that she had made. I will always treasure them.


So today was a sad day for my family. It was also a chance to see some cousins I haven’t seen in awhile. It was nice to see them, even if the reason was sad.

So no big lessons or profound words to share. Just spend time with those you love. Tell them you love them- often.

Farewell Aunt Tillie and Diane. You were loved- and you will be missed.


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