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.