Aunt Maimu


April 27, 2003


Dearest Olivia…

The last I saw you running around was at Christmas, but I will always remember this past Thanksgiving most. You came into my home on your father's arm, looked at the members of our family sitting around the table, and while Liisa's corn casserole got your first glance, it was Big Al and Gregory who unexpectedly, at least to them, received your full attention. Big Al, being too lazy to run, found a convenient hiding place, away from your giggles and grasps, but Gregory seemed to think he could simply move away from you and be left alone, but you pursued him, and pursued him, and pursued him…you were relentless...poor Gregory. You chased him around corners, around people, over feet and under the table. Gregory got no rest, nor did the rest of us. Even after you had gone home, Gregory sat there, scowling at the door, flicking his tail and looking nervously around, as if waiting for the next onslaught.

The way you pursued Gregory was very much the way in which you pursued your life from the start. Your early difficulties didn't erase your smile nor take the glint from your eyes, and each time I saw you, there was some new talent or new ability for you to show off. Once you got going there was no stopping you. To this day, my favorite picture of you is the one of you at your second birthday, running on the sidewalk, the leaves surrounding you, your pale blonde hair wispy in the breeze, charging towards the camera. That was you. You didn't walk meekly towards obstacles, you charged, full force and with glee. Yet, how very sad it is, that in the end, you met an obstacle you couldn't surpass. I recall your mother telling me how, in the last hours, you pointed to your head and said, "boo-boo." You tried, to the best of your ability to tackle even that hurdle, but it was simply greater than you, greater than any of us, greater than anyone could have imagined.

Our family isn't close, and I didn't see you very often. Still, whenever I think of you, in my memories I'll always see your father's mischievous eyes, your mother's determined mouth, and Moose's boundless energy. You tied these all together and added a spirit that was entirely your own, a spirit which made you unique and special to all who knew you.  

Even these days, as Gregory tiptoes across my desk and sees your picture, I swear he stops and looks nervously around. I won't forget you, Olivia. Nor will my cats. We send you eternal love and peace as you cross over into the Summerland.

Aunt Maimu

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