Remembering My Most Loyal Fan

Remembering My Most Loyal Fan | SLO Horse News

My Auntie didn’t read my SLO Horse News newsletter this week. She always did, not because she was a horse person, but because she loved stories and she loved me. The newsletter still sits in her in-box. I have seen it sitting there. This week I will be the one who reads it and then unsubscribes her. You see, she passed away on the day my weekly newsletter goes out.

Habit keeps taking my mind towards calling her to get her reaction to the week’s stories. I was looking forward to hearing her thoughts on my new hot sheet on trail rides. Then I catch myself, remembering how I held her hand and watched her peacefully pass.

Memories of My Most Loyal Fan

My sweet, fun and generous Auntie Janet was probably one of my most loyal fans. We would talk about the stories of the week, and she would give me input. She really loved the one my son, Michael, wrote “How to Rock Your Visit to the Central Coast”, and she even left a comment on his story. That comment is now just a small token of what we have to remind ourselves of her love and support.

aunties-comment

Auntie was house-bound for the past few months, which included the time I was in Portugal. As a travel lover herself, she thoroughly enjoyed my short Portugal videos. “Sharon”, she said, “I felt like I was right there with you!” Oh, the impact of a simple video!

Enjoying British Literature

Auntie loved British Literature, and we often talked about our favorite (or “favourite”, depending on which side of The Pond you are from) authors and books. We both shared a love for anything written by Jane Austen; our favorite being, of course, “Pride and Prejudice”.

My Auntie was British. She came to America in 1960 and settled near my parents. She is my mother’s sister. Auntie Janet retained her British accent, and she kept that special British humor. Laughter was medicine for her and she did it a lot. She lived through bombing raids in London during WWII. War-time shortages were a part of growing up. I’m sure laughter kept her going during the war ravaged years of her childhood.

Auntie Loved Animals and Children

Animals held a special place in my Auntie’s heart, and she willingly took in our wonderful Jack Russell, Sasha, when we left the area for more than a day. Maisy, a Jack/Rat combo, followed Sasha. Auntie had her as a puppy for about 2 weeks; we returned to a much larger puppy. Holli, our current Jack (and a typical Jack), was asked not to return to Auntie’s lodge for bad behavior. Auntie just said, “I love your dog, but Holli is just too much for me to handle. Whatever happens at Auntie’s stays at Auntie’s.” That’s all the info I got, and I now hire my kid’s friends to care for Holli at our house when we leave the area.

Children brought my Auntie joy. My brothers’ kids had “Auntie Days” regularly in their early childhood when she lived near them. My own kids enjoyed time with Auntie when she moved up to the Central Coast. When she saw my infant daughter for the first time, she literally caught her breath.  Her enjoyment of my kids increased with every new phase and discovery.

Auntie was game to attend my kid’s musicals and music recitals. She delighted in all the kids doing their best to deliver their practiced parts, songs and solos. Piano recitals gave us unique memories we now treasure. The usual chatter expected in group settings is replaced by quiet conversation and a hushed atmosphere at piano recitals held at our church. Not with Auntie though, as she was not only hearing impaired but also a bit clueless. Sitting in the back she would make comments which sometimes needed a (loud) reply. Our conversations were heard throughout the venue. Turning away, our kids would slink low in the pew hoping not to be noticed. I would sit mortified and did my best to direct her to just enjoy.

Go Make a Difference in Your Corner of the World

Oh the memories . . . remembering is part of the grieving process. This is why am I sharing these memories with you today. Auntie Janet was part of our SLO Horse News herd. She read every story that has been posted. It was her seed money that played a major role in getting SLO Horse News out of the pasture. My hope is that this story will inspire you to make a difference in people’s lives.  We are all part of the “larger herd” of the human race, and we must take care of each other as herd mates should.  Take a moment, if you will, to remember that even a life simply-lived impacts others. Go out and make a difference in your corner of the world.

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Former Pony Clubber, Eventer and Dressage rider who balanced training and showing with getting a college degree (from Cal Poly SLO), becoming a wife and raising a family.

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