Today we said goodbye to my Aunt Teru, the middle child of my dad's family. She passed away on February 1st, a couple months shy of her 95th birthday. Auntie lived in Norwalk for over a half century, after which she went to Ohio to be with my cousin Arleen for the past seven years.
Upon first meeting Aunt Teru, you might think of her as quiet and shy. However, you would soon realize that she was fully engaged in getting to know you. She had a quiet way about her, but if you needed advice, she would give it to you.
When my mom went back to work after I was born, Aunt Teru got to know me quite well, as she came to the house to watch me (as well as help with my parents' business). It must have been about ten years ago when we were talking that she turned to me with a knowing gleam in her eye and said that I would often greet her with a present. Remember, I was very young. You know, in diapers.
One of the most touching conversations I had with her was when we went over after Uncle Joe had passed away. The night before that happened, Uncle wanted to have (if I recall) a hamburger. Even though she tried to help him stick to his diet, somehow she believed he knew this would be his last chance, so that's what they had, and she smiled at the thought of how he had enjoyed it. She then chuckled and said that he had hidden candy around the house; I always had the impression she knew about that but didn't let him know.
The service was very nice, just what I imagine she would have wanted. The whole congregation sang Amazing Grace and In the Garden (which coincidentally were the two hymns Melody's family played at her grandma's service). After leaving the church, we went to Rose Hills for the burial. Along with Uncle Joe, she's next to their daughter Fay and grandson Chris. I also made sure to visit Uncle Easy, Uncle Mas and Aunt Ida, and Uncle Sei and Aunt Yets.
Over the several days following Auntie's death, almost everyone mentioned how glad they were that she and Arleen came out to help us celebrate my dad's 88th birthday. That may have been the last time I saw Aunt Teru, but she'll continue to be in my thoughts in the years ahead.