Few things were as exciting to my sister-in-law,  Marlyce as the day she became an aunt. Marlyce had always loved babies, and these babies were special. She was so pleased to be such a grown up thing as an aunt. These babies were family, meaning they belonged to her.They were her nieces and nephews…hers!! When Marlyce held one of her babies, her face glowed with pure joy. She was in Seventh Heaven!!

Marlyce was born developmentally disabled, so there were some things that she couldn’t do as well as other people, but one thing she could do as well, or better than anyone else, is to be an aunt…to love her nieces and nephews. As the kids grew, they also grew to love their Aunt Marlyce, who never tired of spending time with them. Marlyce never changed. She would always be a child in an adult’s body, timeless and unchanging, and really, that was a big part of her charm. Marlyce simply loved. There was no falseness, no facade…she was who she was.

When the kids were older, they teased Marlyce, and she did get irritated at them. but all they had to do was say they were sorry, and give her a hug, and it was all over with. Marlyce was always forgiving. She couldn’t be angry or hateful. And for those who didn’t tease her much…well, she would do just about anything for them. You just couldn’t find a sweeter person than Marlyce. My girls and their cousins were blessed to be able to call her aunt.

Marlyce has been gone for over 22 years now, and it makes me sad that she did not get to see her grand nieces and nephews. She would have loved them, and they would have been so blessed to have known her. People didn’t come sweeter than Marlyce. It makes me sad that she is gone, because we, her family have lost so much when we lost Marlyce. My grandchildren never got to know her. They never had the chance to witness for themselves what a wonderful, sweet person she was. I  feel especially  bad for them, because as big a loss as losing Marlyce was to our family, it was a much bigger loss for my grandchildren…like a missing piece of themselves.

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