I've been on this earth for more than twenty seven thousand days. This is the first one without sharing life with my Aunt Jo. She was at the hospital in Birmingham the night that I was born. She sat through New Year's eve in the emergency room of the same hospital with me as 1965 turned to 1966. She certainly knew that I had not "run into a door" that broke my nose. She didn't ask.
If I am to pay homage to her, should I focus on her kindness, her cooking, her sense of humor? I think I will have to go with her generosity. My mom, her younger sister, always joked that Aunt Jo was tight- with herself. She couldn't do enough for everyone else. My car, twenty years old and probably the last one I'll ever own, is the last car that Aunt Jo drove. She essentially gave it to me when she knew that she had to give up driving.
Yeah, she loved sharing anything that she had and that is admirable. The generosity that kept her on a heavenly pedestal was with her love and her spirit. She loved everybody and she was quick to tell them.
With so many grand influences in my life, Aunt Jo has a special place at the pinnacle. Her stories shaped the way for mine. She had lunch at the white house with Eleanor Roosevelt. Details that she was one of a group of schoolgirls celebrating a spelling bee victory don't cloud the event. Reminds me of my stories with Elvis. Big Daddy. Jimi.
She didn't quite make one hundred and five.
I love you. Aunt Jo would want me to tell you that.
I'll have to let you know how life is without her.