Monday, September 6, 2010
92 Years Old
My Aunt Winnie will be 92 on Tuesday. Yesterday, close to 50 family members gathered at her home to celebrate her. She was confused by all the commotion, but bore it with bewildered grace. For the first time, she did not recognize some people. The photo above is of the six sisters, who came from Jamaica, Toronto, Orlando, Nassau, Bahamas and New Jersey to spend the week with her. The Golden Girls, as we call them, are from left ages 80, 81, 84, 85, 88, with the birthday girl seated in the center, two days shy of 92. That's my mom in the blue patterned dress on the far right.
Another aunt, a cousin who grew up with my mom and my aunts like a sister, also has a birthday this week. She will be 91. Aunt Winnie and Aunt Marie cut the cake together, with a little help from grandsons and great grands.
Later, my Aunt Grace tenderly fed her big sister a plate of food. These six sisters have been passionately devoted to one another for more than nine decades now. When they laugh and tell stories you can imagine them as girls. When they hold each other and cry, you are moved by the degree to which they have been there for each other through every possible event that might leave its mark on the life of a family. They inspire the next generation. They have made us promise to follow the example of stubborn, unconditional love they have set for us. Amid challenges, we try. We get better as the years go by and we realize that this legacy of familial devotion is our richest inheritance.