11 May 2010


I'm in the heart of Illinois for a few days. Aunt Margie turns 83 years today, and JL and I have driven in from our separate nests to help out for a few days. Margie still lives alone, but that situation is precarious at best. Her short-term memory is dangerously short, and while she shreds every bit of paper that enters her home, she will open the door (stubbornly!) to just about anyone.

Tomorrow we will take Margie to her hair appointment and then check on her general well being and status. GJ (my second oldest sister) is dedicated to watching over Margie, but she's come down with horrible bronchitis so these few days of sharing the load have become a necessity while she is sidelined. JL and I are on duty.

In addition to chauffeuring Margie tomorrow, we plan to spend Thursday sorting through and cleaning out her closets because she's been struggling with what to wear. Ring-ring-ring... Aunt Margie, the 1980s is calling and they want their clothes back!

Aunt Margie is our fun aunt. Our mother's youngest (by two years) sister. She never married and maybe because (?!?!) she has had lots of spunk. She's very spry and until so very recently was usually up for ANYTHING. We've had her on the wave runner in the summers at Indian Lake, and just about got her on a white water raft a few years ago. She would have gone...

Margie took over a few times when our mom was hospitalized and the five little girls and baby brother needed some caring for. She was relentless, but loving. She brought stability and organization into our world when we needed it the most. From Aunt Margie I learned the satisfaction of a job well done with domestic tasks. While I could never remember to hang up my coat, I folded PJ's diapers and stacked them neatly and then reveled in a doing the same for my own children a decade or two later. I have always taken great pride in completing the laundry--a direct outcome from the training Margie instilled in me when I was just 10 years old.

I love you Aunt Margie, and it breaks my heart that you'll soon have to move from your cozy cottage into assisted living. We want you safe and cared for. We want you independent, but protected and sheltered. We hate that you can't continue living alone, but we are trusting the God that you've served for your entire life to provide a perfect retirement situation for you.

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