A letter from Jill Caira, Ivy's niece
Dear Aunt Ivy,
I've been sitting here for the last hour thinking about what I want to say to you. I started handwriting one, but with my writing I think it would be illegible. I'm really not to sure what I want to say, just that I want to say something. About an hour ago Mom came into her room and told Paul and me you only had a couple weeks to live. I wanted to cry. I always figured, somehow, you were going to get better. With Mema, she died so suddenly that I didn't get the chance to say goodbye. There was no warning, but with you there is. So I guess that's what I'm trying to do, say goodbye, somehow. I asked Mom if I could visit you, but she said you didn't want anyone to visit, so I figured a letter would be the next best thing. To tell you the truth, I can't imagine the world without you. I can't imagine Christmas without you. It seems our family is getting smaller and smaller. I always loved our family, not because it was so big like my father's, but because we all were close. Every birthday I always got a card from you, every Christmas you always came to our house with gifts and no matter what, I always knew you loved me. I still do. The money I got for the last few years I've been putting in my bank account. I've got over $1,000 dollars in there now from Christmas, birthdays, and babysitting. Someday I want to travel the world (crazy dream, huh?) and I want to write. Books, television shows, whatever. I think I've always wanted to be a writer. I'm not sure if you knew that, so I wanted you to know.
With you and Mema, I always thought you'd live forever. I thought you'd be there at my high school and college graduations and my wedding and when I have kids. But then again, maybe you will be there, in spirit if not in body. I've never been a very religious person, never really known what to think of God and heaven and things like that. My mother and Aunt Marie believes in it though. When I was in Chicago last summer, I watched Marie and C.J. do prayers every night. And you know what, I can't believe that life just ends. I can't believe death is the end. I just can't. I've always pictured Mema watching over me and you know what, I think you will be too. I think you will be there for all the good times and bad times in my life. And I think that someday I will see you again. And I know that no matter what you will always live on in my heart, as well as the hearts of everyone whose life you touched. I will always remember the Christmases and times we've spent together over the years. You will never be forgotten, not by me or anyone. That is a promise. And as for saying goodbye (which was originally what I was trying to do in this letter), I've decided not too. For I know in my heart that one day I will see you again. I love you Aunt Ivy, with all my heart and soul. See you later.
Stories from Ivy and her family