Tuesday, January 29, 2008

My Aunt Marsha

My Aunt Marsha passed away in her home last Sunday. One of my mother's sisters, she would have been 66 this April.

When I was a very small boy, I couldn’t pronounce my aunt's name. Instead, I simply called her "Aunt She", a name that stuck. My memories of Aunt She are of a free-loving woman who had a great fondness for fun and laughter. She and her husband, my Uncle Chuck, literally had the 17th hole of their golf resort as their back yard. I think they drove their golf cart more than their cars. My teenage summers in the hot, humid South were spent in large part in their heavily air-conditioned home, lounging by the poolside of the resort, soaking in her hot tub, or meandering along the curving, manicured fairways from hole to hole. I would sometimes drive her golf cart for her. Spending the night with them, I would stay up much too late and watch movies on HBO, via their satellite TV (of course, they were among the first to get such a novel system). She enjoyed games, particular card games and Scrabble. She loved gambling, and cigarettes, and Southern food (and it showed). Even the jobs she held reflected her interests in her last couple decades: manning the resort's Pro Shop, working at a liquor store, or working at a cigarette outlet.

But good health isn't something that comes easy to my family. We are prone to circulation and heart problems, weight problems, and other such conditions which aren't amenable to cigarettes, Southern food, or, well, fun livin'. Aunt Marsha had heart attacks, bypass surgery, circulatory problems, and kidney failure.

She is survived by my Uncle Chuck. They were childhood sweethearts, married just out of high school. In an age of high divorce rates, particularly for her generation, a forty-seven year marriage is nearly unheard of. There are lessens to learn from that. She had one son, my cousin Chris (who also has had severe heart problems), and two grandchildren, Lauryn and Christopher (see picture of Marsha with Christopher). Aunt Marsha doted on her grandkids like all good grandmas should.

Despite all of her love of living, she wasn't prone to vanity or ego. She didn't want flowers sent or anything, but there will be a memorial service Friday at the community center there at her golf community. I live half a continent away, so this blog post will have to do, I guess, for showing my love for her.

If I could learn lessons from the life of my Aunt Marsha, it would be that we should never be afraid to enjoy the fun things, and to live for today, but that temperance is sometimes a good thing. I don't get enough exercise, but I don't smoke, and my food is usually organic and reasonably healthy (despite my urges). If I'm lucky, maybe I'll live longer than she did.

Rest in peace, Aunt She. I love you. And when you reach the Great Golf Course in the sky, play a round for me. Perhaps I'll drive your golf cart when I get there.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In case you desire to play Madden, NCAA Football, FIFA, NHL2K and Fight Night tournaments on your Ps3 or Xbox 360 online for prize - we call for beta-testers now. Join us on Facebook until March 31 and win $2,000 in cash: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?v=wall&ref=mf&gid=298821430083&_fb_noscript=1