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Aunt Tudi & me, Easter 1978

When I was born and it came time for me to be baptized, my parents chose my Aunt Tudi to be my Godmother. I’m not sure how they made this decision, but it was the beginning of a very special bond between my aunt and me. She was a source of encouragement, a person I could share anything and everything with, and she was an excellent role model.  And she had a smile and a laugh that were both so completely contagious.

And twelve years ago, on March 8, 2001, I said my last goodbye to my Aunt Tudi.

My last memory of her is a good one. It was late in the evening after I had finished my class. She had been moved to the Hospice home about 8 days prior, and they told us we could come visit whenever we wanted. I had decided that night I would go spend some time with her. I knew that any time I could spend with her was precious. And I can remember this moment like it was yesterday.

You see, there was one thing that we had always talked about doing but never got the opportunity. Both of us loved Barbra Streisand and we had this agreement that if she ever made it close to here, we would go. So, I went to see her that night with a DVD of a Streisand concert in my hands and my laptop in my bag.

There were a few people in her room when I arrived but they did not stay long and soon it was just me. I let her know I was there and what I had planned for us. The docs had told us the hearing would be the last to go, so she would be able to hear what was going on in the room, even if she couldn’t respond.

I sat at her side that night, and as the DVD played I had this incredible feeling that she was really listening. It’s hard to describe. I just felt this presence in the room. And as I began to pack up to head home, I sat down next to her, held her hand, and told her how much I loved her and how much she meant to me. And then I said goodbye.

Less than 48 hours later, she took her last breath and left this earth for Heaven.

This entire experience changed my life. Yes, it left me with a lot of grief, anger, and I tried to search for a reason that all of this happened. And now, twelve years later, part of me still seeks an explanation, but I’ve learned a lot. My relationship with the Lord is stronger than it has ever been. I think as my Godmother she’d be proud of me. I have so many times where I want to call her up and tell her something fun that happened, talk to her about things that are going on…but something tells me that she knows.

If you knew my Aunt Tudi, what is your favorite memory of her? I’d love to hear.

Until next time…