Sunday, April 25, 2010

Anniversary of Aunt Jeannette

Dear Mom,

About a little over a year after you died, your sister Jeannette passed away from cancer too. Her cancer was of the liver, although I could be wrong. The thing I’m not wrong about is the last day in the hospital when I saw you alive, you asked me to look out of the hospital window and see Aunt Jeannette. You were so serious and you knew you saw her and needed verification from someone. I was scared and didn’t know what to do because even though I was 11, I wasn’t stupid and knew if I looked out of that window, I wouldn’t see anyone much less Aunt Jeannette. I walked over and looked out. I wondered what I would say to you. You wanted to know if I saw her and as much as I wanted to see her, I shook my head no. The look of disappointment on your face about killed me. You mumbled, “You don’t believe me either.” Oh but I did believe you. I have no doubt you saw your sister. I knew even then, you knew something we all didn’t know and I believe you saw her on the other side—as if you knew she’d be soon leaving this world, just like you.

It’s hard to believe Aunt Jeannette was only 40 years old when God called her to heaven leaving behind seven children.

I’m sure the two of you are having fun. The little I remember about her, she seemed like a fun spirited bundle of joy.

I think Aunt Jeannette was about 37 or 38 in this picture.

Jeannette Clarice (Bippen) Behlmann
May 15, 1930 – April 25, 1971


  1. Wow! you resemble your mom and her sisters. Everyone who grew up on our old block in the city died of cancer. Makes me think it was something buried in the landfill under which the houses were built upon. We only lived there a short while, but I bet it was something they were all exposed to. Scary.

  2. Cancer takes too many. It is wonderful that you remember your aunt so lovingly, and delightful to imagine her enjoying your mama's company. As it cannot be disproved, there is no reason to believe otherwise!

  3. um, that is totally Jessica btw.

  4. Linda, you're probably right. Lisa, you're right too! And Casey, never really thought about it, but I can see it now that you said it.


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