] Pondering: A Love Story, tribute to my Aunt n Uncle


September 15, 2008

A Love Story, tribute to my Aunt n Uncle

Over the weekend one of my uncle's passed away. We knew this news was coming one day soon yet you know as well as I do, one is never fully prepared for losing someone they love.

The only time I saw my uncle not wear his overall's was to a funeral. His dark wavy hair, his face reflected the years of hard work, each sandpaper that came across his hands had a story to tell. He was a serious man, something his grand stature would affirm whenever he walked in a room.

When we would visit him and my aunt, he was always in
his shop working. His specialty was autobody work. He was a perfectionist. I would go as far as saying he was also a workaholic.

My aunt and him had been married for what seemed a life time. When my aunt was learning how to drive, she crashed three cars in the process. She was so concerned what he might think or say. With his great patience, he took all three cars and repaired them himself without saying anything to hurt her feelings. He just helped as best he knew how, that is how he always carried himself.

Walking up to their place you would first see him in his shop, with a mask on sanding down whatever car he was working on at the time. He would pause, take off his mask come over and greet you, then politely return to work. He would of course, ask us come into the house so we can visit with my Aunt. Even now, I can almost smell the wonderful aromas coming from her kitchen. She always greeted us with a smile. Sometimes we would help with assembling pasteles, which is a production in itself. All the ingredients would be laid on the table and she would tell us what to do from how much meat to scoop to how much string to use to tie up the pastel at the end. When we were all done and it was time to leave, she would hand us a package of a dozen pasteles she had prepared before we arrived. Everyone who ate one of her pasteles would be hooked on them so as the years went by they became the treat we would all look forward to during the holidays.

The last time I visited them, she again would not let me take their picture. I respected her wishes yet I took in her presence by mentally recording how she looked. Her classic smile, her gray soft hair, a lovely flowered house dress and bright white new sneakers. She made mentioned of how much she loved to have on comfy footwear. She briefly and playfully modeled them in her cozy living room. You couldn't help but leap off the sofa and give her a big hug. From my earliest recollection of them, they never changed and I am happy they never did.

From the moment they married until recently, when he needed to stay in the hospital, they were never apart. Not one day. She started suffering from Alzheimer's just about the same time he started having health problems. When my uncle was taken to the hospital, my mom brought my aunt to her live with her. My aunt didn't want to stay, she kept asking for my uncle. She wanted to be with her husband. My mom said it was heart breaking because, they never left each others side.

Not many couples can say they never had an argument or any disagreements. They were so grounded. They were so much in love. Not once did they do anything that wouldn't show their love for eachother. How they managed that is something I would like to have learned. I am sure that throughout their marriage there are many love stories I have yet to hear. Not going to focus on that at the moment. Right now, all I want to do is remember them they way I always have, with warm thoughts, their huge kind hearts accompanied with unconditional love. That is just who they were, who they will always be to me. I can't explain it other than the fact they just loved each other just the way they were, no more-no less. They made it look easy, maybe it is. Maybe we complicate it when we lose sight even for a minute of what really matters most, the people in our lives. Cherishing them, loving them just the way they are...

In honor of my aunt and uncle, may your example be something we believe we can all strive for, thank you for this precious gift.


Song: Love you just the way you are by Barry White

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