Friday, May 17, 2013

Rest In Peace, Dear Aunt Mary Ann

Yesterday, the world lost a dear, dear soul, with a heart so big there were times that I could not believe her body could contain it.  My Aunt Mary Ann Hardin Moberg passed away yesterday, and my world is the poorer for losing her.

She was eight years older than me, and growing up we were more like sisters and playmates than aunt and niece.  When I was born, she thought of me as her little dress-up doll, and loved to take me for a ride in her doll stroller whenever my parents brought me over to the house to see my grandparents.

We baked cookies together, with my Mama always letting us each have our own spoon so we wouldn't fight over who got a taste of the batter next.  We helped cut grapes in half for fruit salad for holiday meals, and tried very hard to share the last slice of mama's homemade chocolate cream pie.

We shared a mutual ability to make dogs and babies very happy, and we both loved Lancelot, the family scottie dog, more than anything else in the whole world the summer I stayed a lot with my grandparents while my mom was completing her master's degree.  I cannot ever recall her meeting a dog that didn't instantly love her on sight, mostly because she was a practiced spoiler, always ready with a scratch and a treat for a doggie who needed a little more attention.

She had the most infectious giggle, and she dearly loved to laugh.

When things got tough, you could always count on my Aunt Mary Ann to find a bright side, somewhere, somehow.  Especially in a Peanuts comic strip -- she loved Snoopy and Woodstock, and avidly collected some seriously cute Snoopy mugs for her morning coffee through the years, so she could start every day with a smile.

Our daughter's favorite stuffed animal, Gerald the giraffe, was a gift from Aunt Mary Ann on the day that she was born.  I can remember it like it was yesterday: she and Mama driving out to the hospital to see us and hold her newest niece for the first time, and how happy she was that we had finally, after all of our fertility hell, finally gotten our little miracle.  And from the day that Gerald arrived in her crib, it was love at first sight for The Peanut -- he has provided comfort and love through the toughest times for her, thanks to Aunt Mary Ann's thoughtful generosity and excellent stuffed animal selection skills.

She was ever thoughtful, looking to the comfort and happiness of everyone around her, and reaching out to folks she thought could use a boost.  Her smile made you want to smile, too.  And her giggle always tickled everyone's funny bone in the room.

This was a shock to all of us -- she was in her early 50s, and it was much too early to have to say goodbye.

In a month that has already been a difficult one for obvious reasons, this is a blow that threatens to make me buckle at the knees.  But I won't, because Mary Ann would never want me to do anything but try to find a bright side somewhere.  And so, for her sake, I will stop feeling like I am wallowing in the belly of a whale with Job and, instead, try to find a lighter path.

Her legacy is one of intense love of family and finding a bright side even in the darkest of places.  She loved her husband, George, like the soulmate that he was to her -- and he loved her right back the very same way.

We have all lost a dear, dear light in our world.  But her love, so wonderfully and freely given without strings or expectations or demands on any of the rest of us, will stay with us always.  It feels as though some of the light has gone out of my world today, and I will miss her so very much.

To have to say goodbye to her at a funeral that will be altogether too difficult to even begin to describe on the day before I begin chemo?  That's just one blow too many this month.  They say that whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger, but I'd like to stop being tested for a little while, please, just in case the universe is listening.


Molly said...

Christy, I am so sorry for your loss. I've been following your cancer saga, and will be cheering for a good outcome.

Anonymous said...