I had a great-aunt whom I never met, since she died days after I was born. But from all accounts she was quite a wonderful woman.
When my great-grandmother died when my grandfather was only 10, his older sister, Edna, took over the job of mother. Even after she married and moved into her own home, she still took care of her brother. When, a few years after his wife's death, their father moved back to the Netherlands, my grandfather moved in with his sister, and she was the de facto parent.
Later, when my mother and siblings were growing up, Aunt Edna filled the role of much-loved grandmother. She would come stay with them when the parents went on trips. And everyone absolutely loved Aunt Edna. In fact, I've never heard anyone say anything bad about her at all - that's a pretty amazing tribute to a person!
Now, apparently when Aunt Edna did stay at her brother's house to watch the children for a few days, she liked to keep things tidy - perhaps a little tidier than the six children in the family cared about. She was always reminding people to hang up their coats etc. And - this is the part I try to emulate - whenever she walked through a room, she would straighten something up/put something away.
I try to do this in my own home. (Not always successfully.) But when I walk past the sofa and straighten the blanket on the back of it, before going on my way, I call it "Doing an Aunt Edna".
And when I do this, I think of this beloved aunt I never got to meet, and in this way she lives on in my memory.
I've been thinking about posting about this for awhile. And the thought popped back into my mind today. And when I realized the date, I knew I had to do it. Because what better tribute to a wonderful women who died 41 years ago today.
I'm sorry I never got to know you, Aunt Edna - Happy Birthday in Heaven.
PS- the picture is of Aunt Edna on Mt. Washburn in 1941, during a trip to Yellowstone, with my grandparents and her son to celebrate her son's high school graduation.