May 1, 2011


Last Sunday, Easter morning, my phone rang at 7am. I was still in bed, and when I saw my Dad’s name on the caller id, I paused. My stomach sank and I knew something was wrong. I knew my Dad wouldn’t call on a Sunday morning at 7am if it was just to say “hi”. A thought passed through my mind, for just a split second, I thought maybe I could just ignore the call. If I ignored the call, then I wouldn’t have to face the bad news.

I didn’t ignore the call. I answered and when my Dad said my name, I could hear the sadness in his voice. He told me my great aunt had passed away the night before in her sleep. My great aunt, who I have always known as Tia (pronounced “ta ah”, ever since my mom was little and couldn’t say tia) was 93. I know what you’re thinking, 93, wow! I know, she lived a long life. But she was Tia. She was healthy and still full of spunk. She was going to outlive all of us. We were not ready to say goodbye. We would never be ready to say goodbye..


This past week, we made the trip up to Plano to help with and attend her memorial service. On Thursday as I helped my parents scan old pictures for a slide show, I couldn’t help but remember the times we had shared. I could her her distinct voice (it never lacked for volume) and her unforgettable laugh (it was infectious).

See I grew up with three grandmothers. Tia had helped raise my mom from the day she was born so I had always seen her as more than a great aunt, as I know she was more than an aunt to my mom.


(my grandmother, my mom and Tia)

When I was little, I would spend the day with her when my family headed down to Galveston to visit my grandparents. She used to give me coffee with ice cream and I remember thinking it was the coolest thing ever. It was always made more special because she told me I couldn’t tell my parents. It was our secret.


She was a wonderful cook. She was famous for making everything from enchiladas to mincemeat cookies. She helped me make tortillas one day when I was little, and I ‘m pretty sure I made more of a mess than anything, but she and I both had fun.


When it comes down to it, it’s the little things that I remember the most.

How she would always say to carry an umbrella because “it’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it”.

When she told Jon at our wedding that he should probably start carrying antacids with him.

How she would call Hiro “chocolate” and then tell me he wasn’t a good listener. “Lauren, he doesn’t even listen to his name” she would say.

How she would yell “lefono” when the phone would ring, just incase we didn’t hear the ringer.

How she would wash and then hang  ziplock bags on hangers from the tree outside the kitchen to dry (effects of living through the Depression, I imagine).

How she always called Jon “palone” and Aedan “butterball” and had a nickname for just about everyone else too.

She was one of a kind and I could go on and on about witty remarks she has said and hilarious stories she has shared.


It was a hard week. but after seeing my grandfather’s both so sick before they died, I am thankful she passed away in her sleep. She was never one to sit still or have others care for her. She was one who lived life to it’s fullest everyday and she was able to do just that until the very end.


Both my Mom and Dad spoke at the memorial service and my Dad ended with this quote from Janis Joplin. I thought it was perfect,

“I’d trade all my tomorrow’s for a single yesterday”

because even though I know without a doubt I will be reunited with her someday, someday is just too far away.

I love you Tia.  We all love you and will miss you dearly, but your legacy will live on. We will talk about you, and continue to reminisce about your life and stories.

Aedan will grow up hearing your name and how just maybe, he gets that big personality of his straight from you.



Me said...

Lauren, This is a beautiful tribute to your Tia. She sounds like a wonderful woman. You described her character well. Thank you for sharing a piece of your heart. Katherine

Chelsa said...

What a beautiful post!
I'm so sorry for your loss, but I know you will hold your memories close to your heart!

Lari said...

What beautiful words to describe her. Thanks for sharing these beautiful thoughts with us.