Where to begin. All I know is that I want to share this story with you because it is part of who I am and why I coupon in the first place but the words are just not coming as easily as all the other times I share my stories with you. so here goes nothing…………..
My aunt has been a trooper. She battled breast cancer almost 50 years ago when it was unheard of for a woman to even survive and she did. She was then hit with lupus. All before I was ever born. My dad (her brother) left when I was little and stopped seeing me. In his place, she stood up. She took over visitations and I spent every other weekend with her. We would go to Lexington Gardens in Newton and get a bag of Jelly Bellies jelly beans and head to the grocery store for ice cream. We would sit on the couch eating our ice cream together as she read a book and I watched TV and played with her cats. She absolutely loves cats!
She was also one of the most organized women I know! Labeled everything, everything had a place, including her coupons! And, never went shopping without a list! She kept a paper on her fridge to write down what she needed.
A few weeks ago, I got a call that my aunt was not doing well and I needed to come down and say my goodbyes. Well, She definitely was not doing well but recognized me and did try to speak a bit. She had been refusing to eat (if you have seen nursing home food, I don’t blame her) so I asked for some ice cream. I sat and told her stories about how we used to eat ice cream on the couch and i got her to eat ice cream off of a straw. The nurse said I should come back every day because she would not eat for anyone else. I told them I would! The next day before I headed down, I got a call that she was being rushed to Danbury Hospital. She ended up getting admitted for over a week so they could try to get her levels back up. But, she was just too weak.
Yesterday they transferred her back to the nursing home under Hospice care. I went down again to visit and she was so much worse than she was the week before. She looked like she had aged 20 years in only a few short days. She could no longer move her hands, no longer speak or even make eye contact. But, she did have a stuffed cat which we named “Gray Kitty” with her at all times. The nurses made sure to keep it in her arms so that she could at least have a cat with her.
My cousin (her daughter) also got permission to bring her cat in to visit at the nursing home say they could say good bye. We thought that maybe if a miracle would happen, it would be because of her cat. We got a carrier, a special leash and the rabies vaccine. Sebastian was so good and cuddled with his “grandma” for quite awhile. I held my aunt’s hand to help her pet Sebastian. She had actually opened her eyes and tried to look around. But, she was just too weak to stay awake for company. We said our good byes.
Then, over to my aunt’s house we went. To clean, go through everything, organize stuff, trash other items etc. I had completely forgot about my aunts coupons until we were leaving about 4 hours later. As we were locking up, right there at the door on a shelf was her coupon holder. My cousin looked at me and said “It is only fitting that you have this.” And, I was so happy to be able to have it. Sometimes it is the smallest item that can bring back the most memories and for me, this was that item. It brought back memories of her clipping coupons at the coffee table on Sundays while I watched TV. It brought back memories of her hand writing on her shopping lists. There are still coupons in it (although they are very expired!) but I can’t bring myself to take them out.
I have thought that I have got to figure out how to use her coupon holder in my shopping just so I can have it with me and then I have thought that I don’t want to use it at all and just hold on to it and keep her coupons in it just like she had for the memories. I still am unsure as to what I am going to do with it beside keep it forever. For now, it sits on my desk right in front of me. We sit together for the final call. And, it will be in her memory that I continue to coupon and follow my shopping lists. Who would have thought that something so small could have such a profound effect on someone’s life. When I see others with coupons, I wonder if they too have a Grandma/Aunt/cousin/Mom that also tried hard to save for their families too and have passed that down to them ♥