Aunt Coline Gibson

Posted August 9, 2017 at 2:14 pm


Aunt Coline Gibson

Mom, Uncle Lee, Aunt ColineG.psd

Aunt Coline

Aunt Coline died this week at the age of 103.

Quite a feat for a small framed, feisty little woman who had a mind like a steel trap, but a body that couldn’t keep up with her thoughts.

She wasn’t really my aunt, but I felt as though she was and she always treated me as though the blood that flowed through her and me was the same.

My first memory of her was at the Gibson home around Memorial Day. She and her husband, Lee, came from their home in Louisville to decorate the graves of all the family members who had passed. Uncle Lee grew beautiful roses and it was those grand flowers the two brought to lay upon the graves.

They came in each with an arm full of all colors of roses.

Aunt Coline had already picked out the roses she wanted for the Hay family graves and Uncle Lee fussed that she had picked out the best ones for her side of the family, leaving the Gibson side with the ones that were not so perfect. (In reality, they were all beautiful.)

Being new to the family, I thought he was actually mad at her for getting the pick of the litter, so to speak, but he wasn’t mad. He was just joking with her and once I figured that out, their relationship took on a whole new meaning for me. What fun they were having!

Over the years, we exchanged phone calls and would see each other when she came to visit family in Albany. When we talked, she always wanted to know about my boys and what they were up to in detail. I obliged with all the info. She always made me promise to tell them hello and she always told me she loved me before she hung up.

Sometimes when we talked I would ask her about someone I had met and wondered who their family members were. She always knew the lineage. Always.

When one of the family died, we all went to the funeral home to pay our respects. Upon inspection, she realized the flowers she sent were not in front of the casket as she had requested, but stuck back in the back where no one could see them.

She told me to go move the flowers to the front. I was mortified. What if someone saw me rearranging the flowers?

I told her I didn’t feel comfortable doing that so she said “I’ll just do it myself!” She was slightly irritated with me.

I watched as she sneaked behind the casket and with her foot slowly moved her flowers, an inch at a time, to the front of the casket so it was in a more prominent place. All the while she was scooting the flowers with her foot, she was greeting family members and friends, and moving that flower arrangement to the front of the line.

When she could no longer stay at her home, her sons found her a wonderful assisted living place where she could be assured of medical attention and an array of people her age in which she could visit and have meaningful conversation with.

After she moved there, I would call her but she rarely answered. She was such a social butterfly that she was always down the hall talking to someone. I found a better time to reach her when I called, usually after supper.

During one election season, she called me to make sure I had voted. It was very important to her that everyone exercised their right to voice their opinion.

She was up in arms because she had not received her absentee ballot. Someone at the assisted living place had dropped the ball, according to her, and no one in the building had been able to vote. But she had remedied that, she told me.

She had made such a fuss at the front desk that the assisted living staff had to get transportation to bus the residents to the voting polls.

She did not miss casting her ballot.

Aunt Coline died this week after living a long, rewarding life. I am sad for her passing, but joyful all at the same time because she has been ready to go for quite some time. She told me all her friends had passed and she was longing to be with them all again.

Now she is with them and she is having a glorious reunion.

I just hope the staff in Heaven know when the absentee ballots should be distributed.

Janie Upchurch Gibson

Nell Gibson, Lee Gibson and Coline Gibson