A visit brings me home

Belinda Hersey, Special to The County
1 year ago

Stepping into her room was like walking into her kitchen years ago.  The bakery shop aromas, as well as that much-loved gift-shop scent had successfully followed her through the many passages of her life. 

My heart was warm; warm like her kitchen oven.  Warm like the smoothness of her table.  Warm like her hand placed in mine.  Warm like her embrace and her voice.  Warm like her soul and as sturdy as her love. 

She is my aunt Phyl,  married to my mother’s brother.  She is calm, soothing, and the voice of reason. 

I asked myself why I do not visit her more, as I settled down into her deep red recliner.  She sat beside me on the edge of her bed, surrounded by photos, flowers, greeting cards and lovely treasures from her home.  She has always been a beautiful woman, and her beauty is now perfected by the wisdom that comes with age. She is the epitome of strength, feminism, motherhood and devotion.

She wore a lavender blouse, enhanced with pastel green and gold.  Her jewelry blended with her inner glow.    

I have photos of Aunt Phyllis and my mother, their hair wrapped in kerchiefs and laughing.  They are in a potato field, scooching over their potato baskets, their eyes filled with mischief and adventure.  They are on the cusp of being launched into the world, where they will become mothers, wives, wage earners and homemakers.  I always sense my mother’s essence when I am with Aunt Phyllis.  

I introduced her to Kent, my husband.  He immediately charmed her, of course. We spoke of family, and Christmas plans.  During our visit, Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus stopped by, adding that innocent magic of youth.  

My visit with my Aunt Phyl is a gift I bestowed upon myself.  The event reminded me once again of who I am and who I will always be.  Chronologically, I am 67 years old.  Those of you who read “Northern Yarns” know I am not a fan of aging.  My writing is about the lessons I learn as I am propelled through the cycle of life.  It is my intent to continue to learn these lessons until I take my last breath.  

My visit with my precious aunt presented me with perhaps one of the most profound lessons of all.  You see, in my mind and in my eyes, she will always be my Aunt Phyllis, and when I am with her, I am that little girl in her kitchen.  She will forever bring me peace and tenderness. When I enter her room, I step into a soft, familiar place.  I am home. 

Have a peaceful and healthy new year, and please be kind to yourself and to each other.     

Belinda Hersey lives in Caribou with her husband, Kent, and their dog, Morgan.  You may email her at belindaouellette9@gmail.com.