Tuesday, June 19, 2007

My great-aunt Pauline's cremains were delivered to the house this morning, to be buried shortly. My mother asked me to type of a few notes she wrote for the pastor, to prepare his remarks for the service. I thought I would share those notes here, in Pauline's memory:

Notes About My Aunt Pauline

She was my mother’s sister.
She was 85 years old.
She never married or had any children.
She never held a job outside the home.
She lived with and cared for her parents until they passed on.
She had a lot of friends and was always a person to come to the aid of anyone who needed help. She was especially good with older people, taking time to listen to them and including them in her life. Living to a ripe old age meant she outlived most of her friends, including Carl, her companion of over 50 years, and I know she was often lonely.
She had a love for all animals, especially cats. She was always taking in a stray cat. She would try to find them a new home. In fact, when someone had a cat they no longer wanted, they would drop them off at her home at times, which was a real problem. She would skimp on her own food to be sure the cats all ate. Her love of cats carried over into her habit of collecting anything with a cat on it. I mean anything (towels, rugs, throws, plates, etc.)
My favorite memories of my aunt Pauline are when I was a child (6 and up) and we would go up to Santa Paula for a weekend (our only vacation). Usually in late July, every year, we would get into the car on an early Saturday morning and drive to Santa Paula. Upon arrival my aunt would take my brother Bob and me under her wing. My brother was 6 years older than me and didn’t like me tagging along. Pauline never made me feel like a tag-along. She would always take us for a drive around town and then stop at the local A&W for root beer. It would be delivered to the car by a car-hop on roller skates. I loved it. Then after dinner she would take us to the drive-in movies. That was the only time I ever got to do anything like that. When we got back and it was time for bed, she would give her room to my parents and she would sleep with Bob and me in a small room in the attic made into a little bedroom. It was July and heat rises. That room was HOT! Aunt Pauline never complained and as a kid I never even noticed the heat: It was an adventure. The 3 of us slept in a small double bed. To make everyone fit, my Aunt and my brother slept with their heads at the head of the bed and I slept between them but with my head at the foot of the bed. It was so much fun we would laugh and talk half the night. Next day we would drive home and I would think about the next year and my visit to see my grandparents and my Aunt Pauline. I could hardly wait.
Aunt Pauline will be missed a lot; her kindness to others and her ability to bring a smile to everyone’s face. I know she will always hold a special place in my heart. She will always be a strong memory when I think back over my youth.
She was the one who always made me feel included.

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