This morning I received an e-mail from my cousin, and moments later a call from home to tell me my Aunt Denise has passed away. I can’t even recall the last time I saw her, I do know it was before I got sick in 2005. But I can recall all the wonderful memories that Aunt Denise was part of in my life.
To memorialize her I’m just going to list out some of those memories this morning.
- Late night Uno games with Aunt Den, Uncle Hank, Mem & Pep. Uncle Hank always thought I cheated somehow because I won a lot, but truth be told I have magic Uno Powers.
- Games of Trivial Pursuit at camp. I was a well read 8 – 9 year old and often dominated many categories.
- Aunt Den’s crazy coffee percolator. I was always fascinated by that device.
- Thanksgiving with the family in Shrewsbury. One particular Thanksgiving it was snowing hard, and her house was cozy and warm. I had a “Millennium Falcon” from my birthday that year and couldn’t ask for a better day.
- The lawn chairs at the lake, sitting in the evenings after a long day of swimming with Mem & Aunt Den.
- Getting covered from head to toe in Poison Ivy after playing Star Wars all day in a patch of the stuff near “The Big Rock.”
- Towels sitting out on the lawn chairs all warm from the sun after spending hours on end in the lake.
- Learning how to water ski from my cousin Alan (Aunt Den’s son) behind a little motorboat.
- All of my cousins hanging out at the lake on the weekends.
- 4th of July!
- “The Charpentier Christmas.” I have a huge family, and wherever it was held it was the mega family reunion.
Honestly, when I talk to people about their childhood memories I think mine are pretty special. While my mom was extremely ill when I was growing up, I don’t think I missed out on anything. As a matter of fact, I think I had a lot more than many people. We didn’t take the big 2 week road trips anywhere. Instead we spent a lot of time on Manchaug Pond with our family and friends. And that means a lot to me to this day. And Aunt Den was a integral part of all of those memories. She was also my God-mother.
Rest in peace Aunt Denise, and thank you for being part of so many wonderful childhood memories.
To my family, I’m sorry I’m so far away right now and not with you today.