I attended my Aunt Arlene's funeral in Baltimore this past Wednesday. She had lymphoma cancer and passed at age 57 after four years of fighting.
I remember her as my "Crazy Aunt." She was the coolest adult I knew as a kid. She knew all the words to the whopper song. You know the one, "Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce . . ." I remember her screaming as she drove through intersections, just to freak us kids out. Mostly, I remember laughing whenever she was around - which was never enough. Funny the things that stick with you.
She lived in Baltimore surrounded by family. Here is a picture of her with my cousin (her daughter) Khaki at her wedding shower this past June.
Luckily, R was here to share Khaki's beautiful day. All of the southern Oberholtzer's headed north for the occassion too. It was a joyful day full of smiles and laughter.
I wish geography hadn't kept us so far apart. I wanted . . . want to spend more time with all of the "Baltimore O's," but especially R. Distance can be cruel sometimes, but cancer is worse. R fought against it bravely and, of course, with humor.
I love her, and will miss her. She was a beautiful lady, inside and out.
Created this a while back for a poem I wrote called "Storm":
A storm came to visit.
Tap, tap, pitter pat, the rain danced on my window.
Rat, tat, titter tat, the rain drummed on the roof
—clitter, clatter, clang, and washed through the gutters.
Pound, pound, pitter pound, the rain beat harder down and down
—on the driveway, on the walk, on the doorstep where I sit on sunny days.
Swoosh, woosh, shreeee, the wind blew through the trees
and made spooky shadows sway on my walls.
I closed my eyes, I squeezed them tight,
but there would be no sleep tonight.
The sky rumbled, and it tumbled.
It rolled with surging sounds.
CLAP! CRACK! flashed the lightning.
BOOM! BANG! crashed the thunder.
I hid under my covers, my dog and cat did too,
as lighting clapped and thunder smacked and echoed in my room.
What if it never stops, Mama?
What if it’s here to stay?
Boom! Bang! went the thunder
—this time farther away.
Drip, drop, drippy drop, the rain slowed to a drizzle.
Everything grew quiet, and all the night sounds waited.
We curled up in my bed, it felt so safe and warm.
We closed our eyes and finally slept—we made it through the storm.