My Aunt Isabelle died this past weekend, and I’ve been thinking of her and touching base with Margaret and my relatives as circumstances permit. She was the eldest of my mother’s three sisters, a lovely, strong woman, a beloved mother to my cousins Martitia and Adele, and to my late cousin Daniel. We’ve had her and Martitia and Adele in our hearts for the past few days.
This morning renewed my thoughts of her when the BBC pointed to the seventieth anniversary of the evacuation of London. My mother’s family received an evacuee — Mark — into their New Haven home during those years, and the experience made a strong impression on them, which has been transmitted down through the generations (Pippa can quote extensively from Winston Churchill’s June 4, 1940 speech before the House of Commons).
Our lives were woven together in the forties, as we sheltered one another in need. Our lives intertwine and interpenetrate now more than ever. At our family gatherings, now, Aunt Isabelle will be present in loving memories, in her daughters, in her namesake (my young first cousin, once removed), in photos, and in the precious legacy of a dear, generous, resolutely good soul.

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