Last May (2008), my Aunt Audrey lost her other half, my uncle Jim, my mom’s oldest brother. I can’t imagine what it’s like to lose someone after spending so many years together, making a life. I tried to think what it would be like to return to Minot and see Audrey without Jim. I had no idea.
Most days, my mom and I stop over and bring the paper and see what’s new in Audrey’s house. Since I’ve returned, she’s had the basement of her house remodeled and repaired after water leaked in this spring. She’s had the trees sprayed for aphids, the shrubs trimmed, and cleaned up Jim’s beloved peonies.
For the 4th of July, the three of us piled into my mom’s car and headed to the cabin. Beforehand Audrey and I made a batch of her chocolate covered peanut cracker sandwiches, sprinkling them with red, white and blue stars for the holidays. Snickering as we whispered over the chocolate while my mom was on the phone, I knew I was hanging out with a kindred spirit and this was something special.
People move in and out of our lives at times. It is the way of life. I’m sad that my Uncle Jim is no longer here in body, but I know he is here in some way. What I really am is truly amazed and proud of my Aunt Audrey who is working hard and showing me again just how strong women can be in the face of diversity.