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SimpleButNot

MY LADY OF LIGHT
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A SHORT STORY DEDICATED IN THE MEMORY OF MY AUNT JANICE.

My Aunt Janice, there will never be another like her. I am sure that there is a very special someone in everyone’s life and she was my special someone. She was my Lady Of Light. She could and would always bringing light into any dark situation or a dark day. It wasn’t something she worked at. It came from within...it was who she was.

I feel as though she was always there, but that isn’t true. She came into my life when I was very young and she was still in high school. Although, she was a teenager herself, an I was just the pesky little kid down the block, she always managed to have time for me and it seemed to me, that I was never in her way. She always made room for me.

I remember meeting her after she got out of school, at the local drug store. This was during a time when drug stores still had fountains and cokes for five cents. I would sit with her at the fountain and she would share her chips with me. She had that special way of making me feel important.

Eventually she started to date my uncle and I was ecstatic. It wasn’t long thereafter, they married and she became my real life aunt and I couldn’t have been happier.

After they married, they bought a house not that far from my own and we made many visits. Janice’s home was always a happy place to be. Always good smells coming from her kitchen and a fire in the hearth. It was a cozy, homey place to spend your time. A wall in Janice’s kitchen backed up to her fireplace in another room. This wall was made of interior brick and whenever a fire was roaring, the wall in the kitchen would also heat and you could sit by it and be snug and cozy partaking of some delectable edible recently made by Janice. She was famous for her biscuits and gravy and her homemade fudge. You could always count on an abundance of each when she knew you would visit. She could weave magic in her kitchen.

Not only did Janice befriend me, the little pest, but she befriended my friends as well. Thus began the period of slumber parties. Janice had two sisters and she would have slumber parties. Imagine it, a grownup lady having slumber parties. I don’t know why, but my uncle never complained.

During these slumber parties we had the usual...the ghosts, the stories, makeup tricks, seances, etc. I was in heaven. There I was with my Favorite Aunt and my Best friend Shelia. How could any little girl ask for more than that?

Janice was the one that I could talk to and share my problems, hopes and my dreams. She listened to me...I was important. Although rare, there are some things in life you can count on and she was mine.

For my 16th birthday, she conspired with my mom to throw me a surprise party and that it was!! By then I had discovered boys and on one particular Saturday night, my parents wanted me to go to Janice’s. I had a date and I fought like a cat..I did NOT want to go. However, they did not give me a choice..I was going and that was that. I had to call my boyfriend and cancel the date and with that, I thought, "Ok, fine", so in a huff, I stomped off to my bedroom to get ready...snarling all the way. Normally I would have been thrilled to go, but boys now had top priority in life.

To my utter amazement, when I entered Janice’s house, dozens of folks jumped out from behind furniture and whatnot, yelling, "Surprise" to me and I was so taken aback, I could not speak. Now you have to understand, for anything to leave me speechless, well it just doesn’t happen. I was so astonished and thrilled. As I scanned the room full of happy faces, I saw my boyfriend and all was right with the world again.

Janice had purchased the most beautiful birthday cake I had ever laid eyes on. I can still picture it in my mind’s eye. It was simply lovely. The top was completely covered in luscious roses all in pink. I think I drooled looking at it. That same night, my parents surprised me with my first car. A 1972 Falcon, baby blue. Unfortunately, I totaled it three days later, but that is a different story for another time. I was ecstatic. I don’t think anyone ever had a party such as this one.

Then came the day that I wanted to go get married. I was in love and nothing would do, but that I had to get married and fast. I didn’t literally have to get married, but I wanted too and when I want something, I want it now, if not sooner. I had a delimma however, I had no wedding ring and my to be husband was so poor he couldn’t buy me one, so what did I do? I went to Janice, of course. She loaned me her wedding band...I kid you not. This is the type of person she was. My heart welled with sweetness and I was both proud and honored that she trusted me that much.

I did get married the next day and as I took my vows, my husband slipped Janice’s ring on my finger. How could it be any more perfect? Janice couldn’t attend the ceremony. By this time, she had two children and I had opted to travel to another state to get married so there would be no hassle, but Janice couldn’t go with me.

Life continued in a normal pattern with visits back and forth. She was there when my children were born. She was always there for any special occasion. She was a constant giver of herself never seeking or wanting anything in return.

Then the day came and I was told that my beloved Aunt had cancer. We were told that she had a form of leukemia that generally occurred in children/. They said if she had to get any kind of cancer, she had the best she could have because it was the easiest to cure in an adult. However, they would sadly be wrong and she would pass on in a few short months.

During the time my Aunt was hospitalized, I had moved and was living in Florida, approximately 500 miles away and seeing her was sporadic at best. I will always remember the last time I saw her. She was confined to a hospital bed and her hair was gone and her face was so swollen from all the treatments she had had. What I saw did not resemble my happy, energetic, loving Aunt. What I saw was a mere semblance of who my aunt had been and it saddened me greatly. It took all I had within me to maintain and stand there and talk to her. I knew it was important to us both, but it was one of the hardest things in life to endure. I loved this lady greatly and knew she was passing away and I was helpless to do anything about it, but cry and pray.

I traveled back home and it was a very short time when I received a phone call telling me that my beloved aunt had passed on and was no longer suffering. Due to financial restraints and job obligations, I was unable to attend her funeral, but said my good byes in my own quiet way. My best friend, Shelia went in my stead and generously supplied me with avid details so I felt I had been present.

I love you my Lady of Light...Always 

MY SHINING STAR
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