Last week was the one year anniversary of my Aunt Darlene’s death. I have been thinking about her many times this week and the past year.  It was a great personal loss along with a great family loss. She was an Owens by marriage and very different from my grandfather’s quiet and speak only when necessary, second family (Uncle Glenn was her husband and my dad’s brother).  She was always warm and friendly with a welcoming smile on her face. She was the one who kept us together as a family. She would pass along news of a wedding, a birth, or a death in the family. Whatever needed to be communicated to other member was done through Aunt Darlene. Family members felt comfortable talking to her.  If it hadn’t been for her, I may have lost touch with many of the other family member.

Her eldest grandchild ask if he and his fiance’ could be married at the farmhouse she and my uncle purchased after retirement. When Aunt Darlene invited me, I didn’t think twice about traveling to Iowa, my dad’s and uncle’s growing up years were spent there. I arrived a couple of days before the wedding. Aunt Darlene already decided I was staying with my cousin, Steve, just down the road. That was great to be around his wife and family. Aunt Darlene said my Uncle Glenn was excited for me to visit and to show me around the farm and nearby areas.  I would not have known and he would not tell me.

Luckily, my dad came from a large family. I have one aunt and one uncle remaining.

I decided any years ago not to follow in the Owens’ footsteps. I was very shy, so I got a job was a waitress. I had to communicated with people. Then I moved on to

As the years pass, I feel family is more and more important. It is not that I did not feel that all my life. It was a difficult decision to move to Montana those many years ago because I had grown up with my aunts and uncles around me.  We spent many Sundays visiting. Every holiday was an occasion to have dinner at someone’s house. As the families grew, we started holding these special days at parks. I remember when I decided to take a job in Montana and then to stay there, it was a very difficult decision.  I knew my relationship with my family would change. I was too far to drop by for the weekend.

Enjoy the good weather,

Charlene, Charlene’s Bags & Embroidery,


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