She was 102, but I never thought of her as old, or even “elderly.” At a family wedding more than 10 years ago, as several of us were talking and catching up on each other’s family news, she walked by and stopped to chat for a few minutes. As she continued on, steady and sure-footed with the help of her cane, one of my brothers-in-law said, “I hope I’m in that good of shape when I’m 90.” My response was, “Heck, I hope I’m in that good of shape when I’m 60!”

She was the oldest of my mother-in-law’s siblings, and she outlived all of them except her “baby brother,” who’s now in his 80s.

We all gathered together two years ago to celebrate her 100th birthday, and joked about the likelihood that she would outlive us all. And I have to say, we were only half-joking.

Aunt Vera passed away Friday evening, following health issues that eventually put her in the hospital, then in a rehab facility, and finally in hospice care.

Aunt Vera was kind, thoughtful, generous, and encouraging. She was also funny and feisty. At her funeral next weekend, I’m sure that in addition to the tears that will be shed, there will be many smiles and chuckles as family and friends recall and share their favorite stories and memories of  her.

When I remember her in the days and years to come, I will think of a life well lived. Of a life well loved. And I will miss her.

September 5, 2021
©Betty Liedtke, 2021

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