I remember one time my Great Aunt Ruth told me she always considered my sister and I to be a little bit hers. The feeling was mutual. Although Aunt Ruth was my mother's aunt (by marriage at that) she was always more like a grandmother to my sister and I, from the minute we were born (even my sister's middle name is Ruth).
Our relationship was always special. Last week, her son Johnno told my mom - "Do you know why everyone always felt like they were her favorite? Because she never played favorites." How true. Aunt Ruth had seen some rough times in her life, but she was always a delight. She had the most amazing laugh, and she laughed a lot. She gave the greatest hugs. She had a cupboard with toys dating back to who knows when - they were older than me - but she never got rid of them because she knew when we came to visit the first thing we'd do would be to take the toys out. (I am happy to know that Chris has been there and played with those toys, more than once.) When we were kids, she would take us to the beach or to lunch (or both). You know something else? She took us to the Ports O' Call in San Pedro one time (apparently when we were too young to remember she and my mom would take us there for Sunday brunch all the time) and while we were there, she took me to a bead store where I believe I made my first bracelet.
That bead store is no longer there, and sadly, neither is Aunt Ruth. She passed away on Wednesday morning. At home, with her children at her side. She lived a great 90 years. She traveled the world and visited friends and family members all across the country well into her 80s. She always remembered birthdays. She welcomed our friends into her home as though they were family. She was a special woman. And she made everyone around her feel special. I don't have the words to express what a huge hole is left in my life with her gone. I will always treasure every memory I have of her.
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