Memory of Aunt Mary

by Andy Coté

From the Spring 2004 issue of Hopes & Dreams, newsletter of the Illinois Chapter, Huntington's Disease Society of America.

My son, Andy, the author of this poem was 19 when he wrote this. He had spent part of a
summer with his Aunt Mary in 1991 when he was 7 yrs. old. At that time, we first began to notice
strange, jerky movements in my sister-in-law. She was diagnosed with Huntington's disease
about two years later and her slide was a slow but steady one. Five of the eight siblings in my
wife's family tested positive for HD, all getting it from their father, who is 92 and quite
symptomatic, but still plugging along, bless him. No other siblings have demonstrated any
symptoms as yet.
Marty in Medford

This world sometimes we don't understand
Like why both deserts and seas have sand,
Or why there are battles fought over lands,
Or how every life can be in God's hands.

I have an Aunt Mary who I love very dear.
I was at her house for the summer one year.
She was a Christian and she asked me one day,
"In Heaven, what is the first question
to God you will say?"

I must have been six or seven at the time
And a shrug of the shoulders was the answer of mine.
Nevertheless she said to me what her
very first question to God would be.
"Why do blackberry bushes have thorns,
that when you pick berries cause your skin to be torn?"

My aunt has placed many memories in my mind,
but this one will last for the longest time.
For now my dear friend my Aunt Mary has passed
on up into Heaven and by now she has asked
and found the answer to that simple question
Never to be torn by a thorn again.

By Andy Coté


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Created: June 20, 2004
Last updated: Nov. 14, 2010