In the early hours of Saturday morning, April 28th, Aunt Aldea slipped away. I’ve spent several hours today talking with various airlines making plans to fly to Gardner, Massachusetts for the funeral on May 2nd. As I remember her my mind is filled with slides, but mostly I’m getting my mind around the fact that I’ve known her all my life, but only the last 46 years of hers. My earliest memories consist of when she and Uncle Bill still ran Bill’s Market on Cross St. in South Ashburnham. They closed it in the late 1960s when his health began to fail. They converted it into a garage (since it was next door to their house) and game room. Shortly after he died in 1981 I was going through stuff there and found a revolver. It was the first (and only) time I held a handgun and couldn’t believe it was there. When I asked Aunt Aldea about it she matter of fact told me that they kept it around when they had the store. Fortunately I was able to convince her to get rid of it.
I know this happens whenever we lose somebody of a previous generation but I don’t remember when she wasn’t there; neither does my mother. I think a great deal about the The Greatest Generation but Aunt Aldea was from the generation before the Greatest Generation. These were the folk that remember World War I and the first time they saw an airplane. When we lost her yesterday morning we lost countless stories and memories. I will miss her.