Today I went to my Aunt Ellie's funeral. She was 89.
Ellie had been in the nursing home for several years, but of my mom's 8 sisters and brothers, her and I had a special bond. You see, I believe she re-introduced me to the needlearts. Bob and I lived in an apartment across the street from her and my Uncle Ben the second year of our marriage. They had a swing in their yard and no air conditioning. Ellie and Ben would sit out at night in their swing, Ellie would crochet and we would eat popcorn and drink beer That was before she became diabetic and had to watch things like that. In the winter, it was not unusual for her to call me up at night, and say they had popcorn if I had the beer. Ellie and Ben made the best vegetable soup. She'd call me up when we were in our first house a little before lunch time and say the soup was ready and I would head down for lunch. Ben had a huge garden next to the railroad tracks and kept it up til he was in his late 80s. They always shared tomatoes, green beans and cucumbers. One time she tried to teach me how to make pickles (I loved em, but it was not for me.) Ben and Ellie had a great marriage til then end of their days. He took care of her before he died and it always amazed me, that he could do that even when his health was failing and he was nearing 90!
Ellie loved to crochet and she crocheted afghans galore. All of her kids had one and their sons and daughters. She crocheted me a baby sweater outfit for my baby shower. She had to crochet another after the birth of not one baby but two. today on a table with pictures of her life, was an afghan she had crocheted with a crochet book. Its the same book I have in my collection. We shared the love of yarn and also the love of sewing. She mentored me in my early years of marriage in both of these. Her daughter really was the one who started me on my trek of knitting after showing me a easy sweater vest that she was knitting. That is how my re-introduction to yarn began!
Ellie had a way about her. She called life as she saw it. She said what was on her mind. It could be about someone walking in front of her that should have seen what she looked like from our view (she would vocalize it in a not so quiet voice. I liked that about her too. Today, the minister who really did not know Ellie that well understood that too. One of great parts of his eulogy today hit it on the head for me. He said that Ellie understood that it was okay to live life to the fullest and she did.
I think that is the coolest and I believe even more now than I did a few months ago. Live life to the fullest! It is okay and we should. Be excited about it! What does that mean for me? Experience it all. Don't sit back and watch. Do what you want. If you want to knit yourself silly, DO! And I am gonna. How about you? Take life by the horns and enjoy because we never know.
To my friends and family there is only one thing I ask, when you put me in the casket, would you make sure that I am wearing some knitted sox, have a shawl draped over my shoulders and make sure I have knitting in my hands. I want to be prepared for the next life, wherever I am. But until then, I am gonna be living life to the fullest! Morbid, maybe, but you see I too can call as I see it, cause it's my Blog.