Aunt Opal showed me that one can be loved without conditions. I did not have to be a good girl for her to love me. My Mom's love seemed to always come with conditions. Not Aunt Opal's. Her sweet smile always warmed my heart. Her laugh that always seemed to lead to tears of laughter still rings in my ears. That laughter is not gone but is silenced. There is no joy left for Aunt Opal. Unable to walk, hardly able to be raised to a sitting position, she is trapped. Only a hospital bed in a nursing home. A place from which she begs for release.
When Sister, Mom, Hubby and I took Aunt Opal out for her birthday, I wish I could have stayed longer to just let her talk. She was talking about not believing she had lived to be 89 years old. As a child she said she feared she was going to die. Women and children did not always have long lives in the 1920's - 1940's. Many women died in childbirth as children were born at home. The funny thing Aunt Opal told me during that last conversation at her home was as a child she had been frightened by horns. Seems she asked her Mom, my Granny Chandler, how you would know when it was time to die. Granny's response was innocent enough, "When Gabriel blows his horn."
Aunt Opal and I had a good laugh about the horn thing. She said every time a horn honked she was terrified. Always checked to make sure she was still alive. So in looking at this story in the Big Picture maybe the answer is simple. The next time I visit her, I'll blow my horn. It is the least I can do for my precious, sweet, loving, giving and ever my Aunt Opal.
Thanks to The Spin Cycle Host Ginny Marie