Monday, October 20, 2008

Up In Heaven

I am sad to report that my Great Aunt Susie passed away last night around 10 p.m.

She was living at The Oaks in Salem, where she has stayed for nearly the last two years.

Aunt Susie's real name was Alma Bryant. We called her Susie and she told me not long ago that the reason she had that nickname was because of a double date she and my grandmother went on. The two gentlemen insisted on calling my grandmother Rosie (her name was Melba) and Alma "Susie".

The names stuck and forever after they were known as Rosie and Susie.

Susie was 88 years old. She never had children but instead raised her husband's brood. His wife has passed away and Susie took over as substitute mom.

Those folks were all grown by the time I came along. She babysat me for a while. The first time I took my husband over to see her, she insisted he go in the dining room and look at the window sill.

I had cut my teeth on the wood and left marks where I gnawed on it. She loved to tell me the story of how I climbed up on a chair and stood looking out, chewing on the window, and how she found me. How she enjoyed sharing that story with my fellow.

As I grew from toddler to child, Aunt Susie's house was a wonder. She and my Uncle Carl spent a lot of time at auctions. They collected things like salt and pepper shakers, dolls, and model cars. There was always so much to see when you visited that you didn't know where to start.

All of her things were sold when she moved to the retirement community, including her home. She mourned that terribly. She had spent about 60 years there and the place had become a part of her. I can't imagine how hard it would be to give up all of those memories, particularly when you're not quite ready to do so.

My mother and Aunt Susie had a special bond. After my mother passed away I started visiting Aunt Susie more often. As she grew more frail I visited more frequently.

I always took her apples from Ikenberrys' Orchards. She wouldn't eat apples from anywhere else.

I will miss my visits with my great aunt. She was the last of that generation. She was a wonderful woman and I know that when she went to heaven her husband Carl, my mother and my grandmother were all there to take her in.

I want to thank you, my readers, who have helped me with your words of comfort during this time. I have greatly appreciated the encouragement. Many blessings upon you all.


  1. I am so, so sorry about Aunt Susie's passing. I can't help but tear up. You have written about her in such a way I feel the world lost someone special. Hugs and prayers for you, Dew, during this sad time. I will be thinking of you and your family.

  2. So sorry for your loss...the empty space left. I'm glad you have such warm thoughts and prayers are with you.

  3. She was so lovely. Hugs to you and your extended family during this sad time.

  4. My thoughts are with you. Your Aunt Susie looks just like my late Grandmother. I'm sorry for your loss.

  5. I'm so sorry to hear of your Aunt Susie's passing. I know you will miss her, but how wonderful that she lives on in all those special memories you have of her.

    Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers...

  6. My condolences. It's always hard when the last one of a generation passes.

  7. Hugs ... lots of hugs. Be nice to yourself in the coming weeks and months of adjusting to your loss. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers.

  8. Thank you all for your kindnesses. They are greatly appreciated.

  9. Peace and comfort to you and your family. It's wonderful you have fond memories.

  10. I'm so sorry about Aunt Susie. I know you must miss her all ready. This blog in and of itself is such a wonderful tribute to her memory.


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