It has been a time of remembrance this year for sure. Earlier in the year, my last grandparent passed, now I'm reflecting on the passing of my aunt Sally. I have more memories related to her than any other family member because she spent a lot of time with my brother and me.
I can remember her spending a whole day with me in Virginia Beach taking me to see Jurassic Park and riding the carousel at Lynnhaven Mall. Her family was always very kind to me, her two daughters, my cousins Michelle and Valerie babysat for me a lot while my Mom worked. They all just for some reason thought the world of me, and I'll never forget feeling like I belonged whenever I got to hang out with the Fitzgeralds.
I can't say I'll miss my aunt's cooking. I don't think that it was bad, I just remember being a very picky boy and she was the type that would not let me get up until I ate everything. I'm still scarred from eating ham, and I can say she takes all the credit for that. I can also say she taught me manners. Now I know I eat like a horse sometimes, but I do now how to set a table, and how to do dishes, and those things I learned from my aunt.
I'll never forget her house. It was always so comfortable to lay on the floor and watch TV with her. She always watched Matlock, but it wasn't so much the crappy show, but the good company that I recall. I remember her and my Dad debating on politics. My father, being pretty conservative would always get into heated, but civil discussions with my aunt, who worked hard for the old Bell company, and was in the union. That taught me to listen to both sides, and to be tolerant for other people's beliefs.
I will always remember her powder blue Ford Fairmont and driving in Virginia Beach during rush hour with her. She indirectly taught me how to be a defensive, yet vindictive driver. I still apply her methods even today. They work pretty well in Richmond too, I just feel sorry for anyone who has to ride with me!
I could go on and on, but I figured in a post where I remembered someone who kind, that she should be mostly remembered for being strong. Sure she believed that family was important, but it's the strength of the individual, and that person taking responsibility, and for that person to pull themselves up that will probably stick with me more than anything else. She'll always have a very special place in my heart, and I can for the ten thousandth time say that I am indeed very fortunate to have come from such a great family.