It’s been a rough year. My sweet grandmother passed away back in April, and just over a week ago, my great Aunt Kat (her sister) passed away as well. She would have celebrated her 94th birthday on October 17.
She was the last of 5 sisters (a total of 8 siblings), all of whom enjoyed long, rich lives surrounded by incredible friends and family. It feels like the end of an amazing chapter of life filled with strong, caring women who helped me become who I am today.
They were remarkably different from one another, and Kat was the outlier in many ways. She never married, never had children, but was one of the most vibrant people I’ve ever met. She was a fiery red head – though most of her red was gone by the time I came around the fiery part remained. Throughout my childhood, she was the one who made the corny jokes and got on the floor with us kids to play. She inhaled life. She danced. She never missed a Braves game on TV – and once I actually got to take her to one as an adult. How lucky am I?
Most of all, she never stopped MOVING. She was always on the go, always fidgeting if she had to be still – she crocheted to keep her hands busy. She was pure energy. I always wondered if choosing a life unencumbered by husband and children kept her young and spunky – she had plenty of kids around her, lots of friends and an extended family who loved her. Maybe she just didn’t see the need. She was a career woman who owned her own home at a time when she was likely considered an “old maid” by many. She was the coolest old maid I’ve ever seen :)
It’s hard not to focus on the sadness of her death, or the fact that the last several years of her life she really wasn’t able to be the spunky character I knew her as for most of my life. But she was lucky enough to spend those last years side-by-side with her sister (my grandmother) who loved her very much, and I can only hope for such luck for the rest of us. Zoe only met her once, and not for long, but she made quite a stinky poopy diaper in that short window of time, and Aunt Kat laughed.
I will miss you, Kitty Kat, but I will never ever forget you. Thanks for being who you were, for charting your own course, and for living your life to the fullest. I hope if there’s an “ever after” that you’re with your beautiful sisters, that you’re happy – and that you can’t sit still :)