For Aunt Elinor

“Unable are the loved to die, for love is immortality.”

~ Emily Dickinson

With Christmas being just around the corner, I’ve been thinking a lot about my Aunt Elinor (Eln). She was our family’s North Star…the guiding light that brought us all together and made our gatherings special. Even though she was unable to have children of her own, she was a mom to many of us. She was a phenomenal lady with a colossal heart that never seemed to run out of room. She made space for all she encountered, including animals. She loved birds and always kept her feeders at full capacity, even during the brutal winter towards the end of her life, when she was living alone and struggling with ongoing health problems. That’s one thing Aunt Elinor was notorious for, making sure every soul was well fed.

I miss her every single day. It is said that Northern Cardinals are messengers sent from passed loved ones. The Cardinal in the photograph made his home, along with his mate, in our backyard for the first few years after Aunt Elinor passed away. I would spend hours sitting outside observing them and listening to their chatter. They were a source of comfort during one of the saddest periods of my life. They made me feel as if she was near.

In closing, I’d like to share a vintage photograph of this beautiful lady. It’s because of her I even have a love of photography. She was, and still is, my inspiration for so much in life. I can only pray to live up to the woman that she was. She will always be by North Star.

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