We buried Aunt Martha yesterday. She was my father's little sister. Not his youngest sister, but younger than he was. And, she wasn't a very tall person. She was on the short side, much like her mother, my grandmother, was.
Aunt Martha was always a hard worker who loved her family and loved her garden. But, Aunt Martha hasn't been the same for the last, oh, nearly nine years. That's when Uncle Dave passed. Some time after that, she moved into her son David's house.
Her later years were impacted by Alzheimer's. She knew it, of course, and it frustrated her. But one of the saddest things is that two of her grandchildren, David's children, may not be able to remember her as she was. They're not small children, but their last several years of knowing their grandmother were years of her being affected by the disease.
She was okay on some days, but was really dependent on David -- and David's wife, in particular -- for, well, just about everything. Even if it was nothing more than being right there. My last extended conversation with Aunt Martha was actually a pretty lucid affair. But, she was always checking to make sure her daughter-in-law was right there, or at least close by. She knew what the disease had done and was doing to her.
It is s shame that some of her grandchildren, and all of her great grand children -- her daughter's grandchildren -- won't be able to remember Aunt Martha at her best. Because she was one of the best.
We miss her.