I was about eight years old when my great aunt died of ovarian cancer. In the last few months of her life, she lived with my grandparents, so I saw her much more often than I had before. She, her sister who was also my grandmother, and my mother couldn't, as they said, “carry a tune in a bucket,” but they were always singing and playing piano.
The last Christmas that my great aunt was alive was very special to my family because the adults knew that my great aunt didn’t have much time left to live. When I got my great aunt’s Christmas gift, my mother said to me that this was an important Christmas gift because it would probably be my last one from Aunt Emma. It was a snow globe with a unicorn jumping over a rainbow, and it had a wind-up music box that played “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” When I was in bed but too scared of the dark to fall asleep, my mother would wind up the snow globe so it would play its song until I fell asleep.
“Somewhere Over the Rainbow” is not one of my favorite tunes, but every time I hear it, I’m reminded of Christmas and how important the kindness and love of a long-lost family member has been in my life.
- Erin Williams, Director of Development