Here’s To You, Auntie Bella

We’re hosting Easter dinner, on Good Friday. This way the kids will have the rest of the weekend free for their other activities and programs they’re involved with. And in order to save a bit of time, effort and mass confusion on the actual dinner day, Nat and I decided to cook our turkey the day before. We’ve done it in past years and it’s worked out quite well. Not to brag, but we cook a pretty moist bird and the old tom turkey remains juicy for a couple of days.

Things were going pretty good. The bird was in the oven, I was in the middle of setting up the dining room table and getting everyone’s little goodie bags ready, when the phone rang. Not recognizing the voice who was asking for Nat, I pressed for further info. The caller said it was regarding her Mother, Bella. Somehow I knew. I handed the phone to Nat.

Back in October 2008 I posted a note about Nat’s cousin Bella back in Scotland. In her latter years she’d forgotten she was Nat’s cousin and constantly signed cards and notes “Love, Auntie Bella”. We never corrected her – why should we. We were just glad to hear from her. She passed away in her sleep last night and her daughter was calling to let us know. She was about to turn 90, had caught pneumonia and couldn’t fight it off any longer. Despite the fact that she’d survived heart surgery in her 80’s, her body had finally had enough. A vibrant, lovely lady who enjoyed life to the fullest, had travelled considerably in her senior years and stilled lived in her own home. Not to be crass, but I’m so glad she didn’t suffer and went quietly in her sleep. You’d be right to be jealous. We should all be so lucky.

Having met Bella only a couple of times on our visits back to Scotland, I enjoyed her enthusiasm, her gaiety and lust for life. She was an enormous help in filling in a lot of gaps in Nat’s family heritage  when I was doing such research and her memory was sharp as a tack right to the end. She was also a wee little thing and cute as a button. We’ll miss you, your cards and notes, Auntie Bella. May you rest in peace.

Somehow the rest of the day went a little quieter, but we finished our tasks at hand and that juicy turkey is resting comfortably and cooling off at this very moment. We’ll continue on with the hustle and bustle that tomorrow will bring and give thanks for the family and friends that will surround us.

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