There was a porch swing there...yellow if I remember right. (And it is for this reason and this reason alone, that my dream home will have a porch with a swing on it). There was an entire drawer full of colors, a plentiful supply of coloring books and the encouragement to date and sign every picture completed, as though it were a work by Picasso himself. There was a playhouse there with pots and pans and dishes and utensils. And one of the very best things that was there were the barbie doll clothes...little handmade clothes that my cousins had sewn. Fancy dresses, coats with fur, matching pajama tops and bottoms....everything you could imagine.
But most of all there was love. This was a place where a little girl could say something as seemingly rude as,
"This sure is a gooder dinner than you usually fix Aunt Vera" and not be in trouble, but instead be the star of the story that was told over and over again. (Much to my chagrin during the awkward teenage years but now appreciated so much!) This was a place where we were cherished.
However, I think Aunt Vera's most important legacy is her children. She was left alone to raise them after her husband died. 5 young girls, my cousins....Jerryl, Janny, Joye, Jane and Julie. I'm sure there were plenty of very, very difficult times for them, there had to be, but she did something right with them. I don't think I have ever met, in one family, 5 more wonderful women. Loving, loyal, each creative and talented in their own way, friendly, interesting and funny....all of them making the world a better place just by being here! They have honored their mother by lovingly caring for her, especially through these last few difficult years.
So Aunt Vera, good-bye for now. Your smile, laughter and hugs will be missed. You were loved. You will not be forgotten.