When I think of Marie, I hear her laugh. It was loud and infectious. I think of music, she loved to sing and she organized Christmas Caroling parties. There was always music when we gathered as a family and she was notorious for trying to organize us into singing rounds. Timing was definitely not our strength but it didn’t stop her from trying.
When I hear the cymbal part in Simon & Garfunkle’s “The Boxer”, I will think of Marie (again with the timing). I remember sleepovers, Miracle Whip and hair curlers. The woman never met a stranger and you were always welcome at her house. The party started when Marie entered the room.
There’s an e-card floating around Facebook that says “A woman is like a tea bag, you don’t know how strong she is until you put her in hot water”. Marie was a very strong brew. She buried those she loved dearly. Not only did she survive the pain, but she went on to start a chapter of Compassionate Friends so that others could find support when they needed it. When the chips were down and someone was facing challenges, she made a effort to bring the family together. As a child I didn’t understand, as a woman I treasure the memories.
When I think of Marie, I think of a beautiful voice, a hearty laugh and a fierce love. So many of us are better for having experienced that love. Rest in peace Aunt Marie.