Friday, March 8, 2013

Post Dated Checks


So Aunt Maisy is gone and it's not quite real. She is the little solemn-faced 6-year-old second from the right in the photo above. In truth Aunt Maisy was hardly ever solemn. On Facebook, in email, in phone calls and via texts, everyone is sharing their memories of her, and so many of those memories make us laugh! Aunt Maisy pinching our cheeks and making gurgling noises as if we were two years old, even until we were grown. Aunt Maisy trying to discipline us when we were children, she mad as red ants at whatever was our infraction, and my brother daring to tell her a joke as she raged at him, and Aunt Maisy dissolving into laughs. Aunt Maisy could never resist a well told joke. She saved them up for months so she could share them at her famous Thanksgiving dinners. They were highly anticipated family events, looked forward to by all, especially the part of the evening when everyone was sated and sort of drifting, and Aunt Maisy would say to one and then another and another, "I have something that would look just right on you. It's the perfect thing." She used to go down to the wholesale district and stock up on scarves, gloves, nighties, stockings, socks, ties, lingerie, blouses, handkerchief sets, little things you might need but seldom got around to buying, all so she could sell them to us. The point wasn't the money. None of us had much money anyway. Most of those gathered were my generation, not too long out of college, or starting new families, or setting up fledgling business ventures. When we demurred with this excuse or that, Aunt Maisy would smile conspiratorially and say, "I take post-dated checks, you know." How could we resist? It was always so lively in her bedroom with her wares spread across the bed, and all the aunts (never the uncles, come to think of it) and cousins and in laws trying on item after item, preening before the mirrors, cheerfully soliciting and proffering opinions, and then at last writing that check, feeling not at all forced, just wanting to be part of the joy in there, to walk away with something Aunt Maisy had picked out just for you. We post dated our checks sometimes months in the future, and Aunt Maisy would smile delightedly and do a little dance over to a corner of her bedroom carpet. She would lift the edge and tuck our checks safely there along with a growing company of other post dated checks. Sometimes I think we wrote those checks just so we could see Aunt Maisy do her little jig and file them under the carpet. The hilarity that attended her filing system never got old. I realize now I can't remember a single one of my checks ever being cashed. For Aunt Maisy, it was the pure thrill of the sale.

12 comments:

  1. This sounds wonderful. I bet she never did cash any of those post dated checks. None of my aunts were/are so jolly.

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  2. I hope that when I die, there is someone who is as talented/blessed/loving as you to write my obituary.

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  3. You bring her to life for us, my friend. Therefore she lives on and on.

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  4. gradydoctor got it right. You bring her to life with your words. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful memory of her.

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  5. Yes, you've brought her to life! I am sorry for your loss -- all of your family's loss. I'm grateful, too, that they have you to write these words and keep these memories. The photo is outstanding, and I actually see YOU in the woman above Maisy -- something about the eyes.

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  6. I am so sorry for your loss Angela. This post is beautiful. S. Jo

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  7. What a funny memory. I'm glad you have such experiences to treasure.

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  8. That picture is amazing, graceful and vivid and yet it looks like it should be in a museum.
    I love what you are writing about your aunt. This is what death should be like: at an old age, surrounded by love, a great family and the knowledge that you've done well enough.
    Yes, laughing about her antics is the best way to remember. The best.
    Sending you all my love.

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  9. I am sorry you have lost such a bright light. This is a gorgeous tribute to Maisy. It makes me wish I could have known her, too. And that photo is priceless.

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  10. Dearest Angella, I am so very sorry for your loss, your family's loss. I read this little story with a soft smile and a saddened heart, for your Aunt Maisy reminded me of so many of my wonderful aunts who are now gone and I understand the loss. This story will definitely stick with me for a very, very long time to come and therefore, your aunt will live in my heart as well. I wish that I could wrap my arms around your shoulders and give you a big hug. May Aunt Maisy's memory be a blessing to you and to everyone who loved her so much.

    With so much love,
    Debra

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  11. I love this story. I can see all the women in the room laughing together. What a great memory!

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