My Aunt Anne died this morning. We expected it, but it was still a shock when my mother called with the news.

AnneGrowing up, Anne was the only girl in a family of nine children. Her brothers, including my father, were paradoxically protective of her, and at the same time, loved to make her life miserable, in the most brotherly way possible.

For the kids of my generation, Anne was the “fun” aunt. Most of my O’Hara uncles married around the same time, so most of my aunts had kids of their own, and when the families got together, the adults, unsurprisingly, wanted to spend some time with the other grownups. Anne married later, and liked spending time with us kids. She’d take us sledding or skating or even to the Cape. Even after marrying Bob MacAulay, and having kids of her own, Anne still liked having fun with her nieces and nephews. I still remember rollerblading with her down the Cape, about 15 – 20 years ago. It was my sister Nancy, Anne and I on an empty Eastham road.  She’d never used inline skates before— just old fashioned roller-skates —but she picked it up, and had a blast. And, once she and Bob built their own house on the Cape, most family members knew they were welcome there.

I think the thing I’ll remember most about her was her smile and her giggle. She had a lovely smile, mischievous but pretty, and loved to laugh. I’ll miss her.

3 thoughts on “Anne

  1. I have many happy memories with Aunt Ann. Like when her kids were young, doing the last minute Christmas wrapping upstairs at Granma’s house… Listening to her play the piano and singing along…..walking the flats on the bay….embarrassing and funny discussions about “boys”….jugs ‘o wine shared with cousins on the porch at Heritage Hill. She had a great giggle and Granma’s twinkle in her eyes. She & Bob will not be forgotten, and are alive in the hearts of their kids & grandkids. Bob, Rich & Susan, you all did a wonderful job of taking care of your parents….though they may have complained, you made sure they wanted for nothing. Love to you all. xoxox

  2. It is pouring here in San Antonio, buckets and sheets of rain. It’s significant that God is crying, because Anne was one helluva woman. Maybe he’s thinking hard about how kind she was across the board, how she turned a blind eye to any insults that came her way and instead would repay with a complement. At least, until she wizened up in her later years! Or maybe God is laughing through His tears like I am when He thinks about Anne luring Tom’s tired children from work with a popsicle. Maybe He’s thinking of the horseshoe crabs she always liked to watch…her gaze gave such meaning to an ugly creation! Or maybe He’s rooting around in my own mind to look for memories of how proud I was when Anne drove all the way to Shrewsbury just to watch me in a declamation contest in the 4th grade. I felt SO important that she came. And she always did. She IS selfless, kind, and has raised her family in her image.
    So yes, God is crying hard and strong outside the walls of my highrise….flood warnings empty the streets below. He is crying at Anne’s death; not for her as Heaven’s hopping now with Grandma, Emma, Nagymama, Anne, Dick, and more. God is crying for those of us left behind, because He understands that she will be uniquely and powerfully missed. Who hasn’t she touched in this family?
    God bless Sue, Rich, Bob, and their families. They have been amazing with their mother. My brothers and I will be up for the wake and funeral. I’ll leave Next Monday should anyone need help.

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