|Kak & Charlie on Wedding Day|
She and Charlie moved into the old brick farmhouse over 50 years ago. That is where she wanted to spend her last days and she displayed incredible determination and strength to achieve that goal.
Kak, as the family called her, got her wish, passing peacefully in her home with one of her sons and grandsons at her side. My husband was on his way to be with her but was still 15 minutes from her house when the call came that she was gone.
Kak wasn't well for the past year, but she managed alone in the house with the help of her son and his wife who lived nearby. During this time she also managed another amazing feat of strength and will power. She created a method for her sons to be sure her treasured antiques were passed on in the family.
|Plate labelled with my name|
What she couldn't label, she wrote out by hand - a huge list of items (an inventory really) with a description of each, and who that specific item was to go to. Her list has notes such as "Painting of young girl in rose coloured dress, antique oak frame - for Susie"
You'd have to have seen Kak's home to realize what a monumental task this was. She had a beautiful home filled with antiques - furniture, china, paintings, clocks, etc. I wish we'd taken pictures of the rooms while they were intact.
In the last two weeks before her death, one of her grandsons came to stay with her to help with her care. Under her direction he wrote out dozens and dozens of labels to attach to small items she had not yet gotten to.
Together they went through drawers of postcards, cards and letters she'd been saving since the 1930s. He spent afternoons reading her old postcards to her, an activity that seemed to bring her great joy. Memories were triggered when he read these notes from friends and family long dead.
|One of Kak's Ladies|
The realization that these Ladies, so beloved by Kak who knew every name of every figure, would never be displayed in her home again, or dusted lovingly by her hands, hit hard. But we will treasure those items forever.
And so time moves on. Items loved and treasured by Kak are being distributed to her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Hopefully they will continue to be treasured and passed on in the family as Kak wanted.
It is the natural cycle of life but it's not easy accepting that Kak's time on earth has ended and that her treasures are now in our safe-keeping. Her torch has been extinguished but how lucky we all were to have had her in our lives. She'll always be in our minds and hearts.
I hope you're dancing with Charlie, Kak!