A good day for Aunt Marion

By Joanne Peterson | Feb 24, 2012

My Aunt Marion’s 100th birthday party last year was quite the festive event.

She sat happily in my cousin Carrie’s living room, holding court, surrounded by her favorite people.

Every guest at some point took a turn sitting in a chair next to her, holding her hand and visiting.

She didn’t quit smiling all afternoon.

The day was bright with love, laughter, flowers and food. It was the best day in a long time.

Aunt Marion was married to my mother’s brother Bill; she outlived him by many years, as she outlived many other relatives and friends.

After the death of her husband, she stayed in their house in Marysville by herself.

For over 30 years, she faithfully attended mass at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, where she was known and loved by all.

For years, my aunt was involved in a Homemakers’ group in Marysville—I never understood just what the group was, but it always reminded me of my own mother’s Sewing Club, a group of women who came to be great friends over the years, sharing good times and bad.

Aunt Marion was active for years in a Children’s Orthopedic Hospital guild, too.

My Aunt Marion was a solid fan of the Mariners and never missed listening to a game. She liked fashion, dressing up and being perfectly groomed.

She enjoyed going out for lunch with family or friends and eagerly anticipated festive holiday dinners with her family.

My aunt maintained close relationships with daughters Carrie and Jennie and son Tom. Daily calls and weekly visits were the norm, and she liked telling people how good her three children were to her.

Their care of their “Momma” was tender and constant. Her two beloved grandchildren stayed in close contact, too.

Of course, you could tell by the past tense of all this that my Aunt Marion died recently, just weeks shy of her 101st birthday. She wasn’t ill very long—long enough for her children to sit with her, hold her hand, say the things they wanted to say, prepare themselves to let her go.

Fortunately, the staff at Manor Care in Lynnwood took great care of her, bringing peace of mind to my cousins.

A Mass of Christian burial was held for my Aunt Marion in her church in Marysville on Valentine’s Day, a day that seemed a perfect choice to honor her.

Sixty-some people attended—relatives, fellow parishioners, members of her Homemakers’ group, and the kind people who gave her companionship, transportation and support in her later years.

Following the trip to the cemetery, the family returned to my cousin Carrie’s home, where we spent the rest of the day celebrating the life of Aunt Marion.

It seemed my aunt was among us. The day was bright with love, laughter, flowers and food.

It was the best day in a long time.


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