Saturday August 18, 2012 my Aunt passed away.
I have been walking around all week with a heavy heart. My bestie Mika got it correct when she said it was like losing my mother again but this is a little different. My Aunt Bert was my friend. I come from an old-fashioned Southern family where a child stayed in a child's place and since my mother died when I was 17 she never got to know me as an adult but my Aunt Bert did. She saw me become a mother and a wife. She supported me through my downs and celebrated my highs with me. She was a strong soul and always optimistic. She was super funny, especially when she had a little "taste" of Southern Comfort with me. She would attend any and every family graduation, bridal shower, recital, party, reunion whatever as long as her health would allow her to. She shared stories of the South, my mother, my family and just life in general. She loved to talk and she treated me like an adult. I got angry with her once for telling something that I told her in confidence but now I realize her telling what was going on in everyone's lives is what held our family together and now it is on us to keep in touch with one another. She was home, you know that comfortable warm place
where you know that you are safe. Her house, although small, was the best place for family gatherings. So much of my life has revolved around her and her family that I just feel a void. Today is the funeral where her body is laid to rest but she will forever live in me because she has truly made me the woman that I am today. I saw her the day before she died and she perked up a little when she knew that it was me and she said,Aunt Bert is a little down, I am old, I am old" and I as watched her struggle to breathe I knew it was just a matter of time. Today even as the tears fall from my eyes I am celebrating my Aunt Bertha Mae Gamble, a truly strong black woman, mother of seven, friend and neighbor to many, whose love was too great for this earth!