Sunday, February 8, 2009

Farewell to Alva May...

A few weeks ago, January, 2009, a beloved family member passed away, Alva May Iliff. Alva was more than a cousin. For years, she watched my siblings and I while my mother, a single parent, worked to support us. She was a pillar of support, a person to talk to, nearly an older sister. When she got old enough, she got hired at Hart Shaffner and Marx and worked alongside my mother. She lived with us for a number of years, only moving out when she got married. Eventually, she moved out of state to Alabama and out of daily touch.

We kept in contact with telephone conversations and a few visits through the years. During those times, we talked about "the old times" at our house and at our grandparents. Time just seemed to go so quickly with promises to visit more, talk more, etc.

Unfortunately, last year she was diagnosed with cancer. She bravely held on for about 8 months. Our last visit was during her last hospital stay. A shadow of herself, she still wanted to visit and we talked out our relationship with God. What a precious time, despite the surroundings.

About a week later, she passed away. I will never forget her. She was quite a disciplinarian with us kids, but always there for us. Like I said, she was more like an older sister than a cousin. She will be missed. Until we meet again, May.

P.S. A memorial is planned for her in Indiana in the summer. Please forward any memories you have of her. It would be wonderful to share them with one another.

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