On Thursday, September 10, 2020, I received two facebook messages from cousins letting me know that she had passed away an hour and a half earlier. Although I have not been home (the Jackson, Mississippi area) since 2005, I have fond, fun, heart warming memories of Aunt Mary during my childhood, teenage years, and early adult years.
I have been on and off sad and letting the tears flow since finding out, thinking of those memories, and also thinking of my own mortality and that of my mom, dad, and Frank.
I felt moved to write about my feelings and these memories, wanting to also get them outside of my mind while they are still clear and crisp, and as a dedication to my Aunt Mary. If any of my cousins, aunts or uncles, or my mom or dad have anything to add to this, I would love for you to share.
(This is from one of the last visits I made … Summer of 2002 – taken in New Orleans at my dad’s house, from left to right: Robert Downs (my dad), Aunt Mary, Aunt Carolyn, Uncle Millard – Siblings)
There was the home made macaroni and cheese she made for all the holiday gatherings. I loved her mac n cheese, the creaminess of it, with the cheese browned perfectly on top. We had very large family gatherings for holidays when I was growing up, with so much food I cannot even remember it all. Six or more ….