Peace within

I learned from my Aunt Corinne that there is comfort in quiet. So different from my own mother who filled space with her exuberant personality, Corinne was at ease in quiet.

When Steve and I first married, our little dining area in our little apartment in Howard County held a table made of an old wire spool covered with a glass top and surrounded by large pillows. We were pretty poor, but we both loved to cook. My Aunt Corrine and my Uncle Richard had been wonderful to me since I moved to Maryland a few years earlier. They treated me like one of their own children, a gift for which I could never really repay them. Anyway, one night when Corinne and Richard were in their very early 70s, we invited them to dinner in our little apartment. I don’t recall what we cooked. What I do remember is that they sat at our makeshift table with our pillow chairs and shared dinner with us.

I’m 55 and the thought of sitting on pillows on the floor eating dinner off of a spool table is painful just to think about, but Corinne and Richard never balked. I never really thought about it until recently. They were the best. And my sweet Aunt Corinne never stopped being a second mother to me, never stopped loving me unconditionally, never questioned (at least to my face) my decisions. She was one of the best parts of my life.

For years, she would call me in the evening and share stories about her life raising children and traveling back and forth across the country with her military husband. Her strength was steadfast and it ran very deep. In her quiet way, Corinne taught me many things, but perhaps the greatest was the wonder of finding peace within yourself and in the giving to others. She was amazing at both.

Today, Corinne was laid to rest in Arlington Cemetery beside her Richard. At 97, she had an incredible and long life. I’m so grateful to have been a part of it, and I will miss her dearly


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