September 05, 2013

Aunt Ann

Aunt Ann
By John R. Greenwood

Dear Ann,
I’m sorry. I should have been here long before now. There are no excuses. Too busy doesn’t cut it. It’s so far away, holds no water. All I can do is apologize and tell you I love  you. It was good to see you today. It took a minute for you to recognize me but when you heard my voice you smiled that great Aunt Ann smile and said, “Oh, Johnny!”

You looked nice in your white sweater and pearl necklace. You showed me your watch and said, “Debbie gave me this.” We sat and talked for quite some time. I held your hand and you squeezed mine. I needed that. It reminded me of mom and how she would squeeze my hand so hard when dad and I would visit her in the hospital. We talked about a lot of things today. I told you what relatives I’d seen and when. We reminisced about Uncle Steve and how he loved to get out his banjo and play it for me. I always loved the banjo because of him. We talked about your beautiful Angora cat that was so big it looked like a lion stretched out on the sun filled window sill. You said you missed the old house and I assured you it was still green and white. I explained that it looked a lot different inside now but it was being put to good use as a community center for seniors. You liked that idea. 

You said I looked good with no hair. I told you that when I tried coloring the grey it turned red and the guys at work kept calling me Big Red. You laughed. I told you I decided to just cut it so short you wouldn't be able to tell if it was grey or missing and you laughed even harder. It felt good to hear you laugh. 

I think I tired you out. I was drained from worry. I thought you might be upset to see me. That wasn’t the case. You made me feel special like you always did. I wish I could turn back the clock for us both but it won’t work, I’ve tried. All I can do is hold your hand gently and kiss your forehead. There is no time machine for us, only a book of memories. It was good to see you today Aunt Ann. I love you. 

If you have someone you have been meaning to see, whether they are young or old, don’t wait until next week. Go now. Go yesterday. Just go.

Here is a photograph of Aunt Ann. It was good to see that smile today. 

Ann Pasek circa 1940's


  1. This was very moving to me.

  2. What a great gift you gave your aunt and a great gift to yourself. Why do people put things off?

    1. Uta,
      We put them off because real life gets in the way of real living. We spend so much time juggling priorities something is bound to get left behind. At some point you run out of 'some days'. It was a gift that took too long to give and to open.

  3. Truer words were never spoken. Thanks for the reminder John.

  4. I'm tearing up... and what a gorgeous smile!