Ohhh Laurie Ann!

By Lori Simpson

So my great Aunt Jane passed away on Wednesday.

Aunt JaneShe was 98 years old. She was the last of my grandpas family still with us. She would always be so happy and excited when my grandpa would take us kids by the house.

I will always remember her opening the front door wearing her cardigan sweater draped over her shoulders (even in July) and that big smile on her face. Her sweet voice “Ohhhh Laurie Ann” as she’d hug me, only to be followed by Nannie wiping her hands on her apron and then the painful pinch of my cheek and hug from her too. To the couch of plastic us kids would head while Aunt Jane offered us Italian candy and Fresca or a Sanka as we got older.

I must say whenever I have a Fresca I think of her and I smile.

The other forever funny story is when grandpa would have me call over to their house as a little kid to tell them we were coming over. I hated that job! Aunt Jane would answer the phone and I would say “Hi this is Lori”. She would say “Roy?We dont know a Roy” and shed hang up on me. Finally on the third call Id say “Hi its Laurie Ann” and the happiness would come through the phone “Ohhhhh Laurie Ann.”

As I got older and was driving, my car broke down near their house. As I walked from my car on the side of the road to her house crying, I knocked on the door and there she was with her sweater and a smile, “Oooooh Laurie Ann what a nice surprise.”

She made me a Sanka and calmed me down.

My Uncle Al made sure my car was safe and then the two of them drove me home.

I guess I will forever be Laurie Ann to my Aunt Jane. You were loved and it saddens me that everyone of that generation is now gone. I’m sure there will be an awesome Sunday Italian family dinner this weekend in heaven.

If you listen carefully maybe you will hear my Grandpa raising his glass toasting his family “I wonder what the poor people are doing tonight!”

….Salute!

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