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My Aunt Lorraine, In Memoriam



This seems be happening far too often lately — the bereavement post in lieu of a regular strip.

Yesterday my Aunt Lorraine passed away. She was my favorite aunt by far. And because my childhood and my family are, like yours I'm sure as well, rooted so deeply in that amalgam of nostalgia, sports, Boston, love, and profound memories that help defines our adult selves, I felt it appropriate to share this with all of you.

My Aunt Lorraine was not only my favorite aunt but was also the biggest Boston Bruins fan I've known.

While I had the honor of entering the hallowed ground of Fenway for the first time with my dad, my first trip to the Garden, the real one, to see the Big Bad Bruins of the early 70s was with my aunt and uncle, who were season ticket holders.

Also, in the pre cable days of antennae on roofs struggling to bring in the snowy reception of UHF Channel 38 some 80 miles away, my aunt and uncle were the first ones to have the technological breakthrough known as "the rotor." Do you remember those?

Where at my own house (actually a trailer in those days, yes, we were poor) getting Channel 38 to come in was a hit and miss proposition, mostly miss, except on the most clearest and coldest nights, at my aunt and uncle's it was a different story — simply turn that rotor dial (which sometimes sparked) and wait for the heavy, retro electronic sound of the "Chug Chug Chug" as the motor on the antenna swung into place, and, voila, live from the Montreal Forum via WSBK. To me this was as cool as the moon landings.

But as much as a fan of the Boston Bruins that my Aunt Lorraine was, she was an even bigger fan of number four, Bobby Orr.

How big of a Bobby Orr fan was she? Well, she sold my Uncle on the idea of going to see Team Canada vs Team USSR in Moscow, yes, La Série du Siècle, the "Friendship Series," and one of the greatest sporting events of all time.

Now today going to Russia isn't that big a deal, but this was 19 friggin 72! The Cold War, Brezhnev, only four years removed from the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia.

At that time I had never known anyone who'd even been off the North American continent, let alone the USSR. Heck, I hadn't even known anyone who'd flown on a jet airplane.

I can remember sitting on the living room floor playing with my toy Boeing 707 while my uncle, an engineer, gave me wonderful details about the thrust of the 707 on takeoff while my Aunt Lorraine told me of the onion domes of the Kremlin and the vibe in the Luzhniki Ice Palace, and also of her profound disappointment that Bobby Orr was unable to skate up due to injury.

As I look back at the moment now with the clairvoyance that comes with time passed, I can see that it was one of those watershed moments of childhood, for it was right then that I first realized that really anything is possible. You may live in a small New England town with one grocery store and an outdoor ice rink, but if you wanted to you could go to the Luzhniki Ice Palace or anywhere else your heart desires.

From the trip as well, my Aunt Lorraine brought me a lapel pin with the Canadian and USSR flags intertwined over the label MOCKBA '72. To this day, it is one of my most cherished possessions.

I am saddened that she is gone. I am saddened even more that it is only now, in her passing, and writing the memorial words above down that I've taken the time to reflect on these memories and experiences of my Aunt Lorraine and how they have impacted me.

"Death sets a thing significant
The eye had hurried by"*

Comments

I mark the year I got old as the year I attended more funerals than weddings. Getting old sucks.

My thoughts will be with you and your family today HB,

I mark the year I got old as the year I attended more funerals than weddings. Getting old sucks.

My thoughts will be with you and your family today HB,

I mark the year I got old as the year I attended more funerals than weddings. Getting old sucks.

My thoughts will be with you and your family today HB,

I'm sorry you are experiencing yet another loss this year h.b.
These things seem to unfortunately happen in what can only be described as emotionally draining cluster bombs.
You describing your Aunt and what she meant/means to you reminds me why I'm glad I'm planning a massive 60th birthday for my mum, so I can tell her all of the things that we tend to leave out because we figure the person already knows.

I'm also going to call her and tell her I love her.


Keep your head up. And keep those memories close, they're worth more than a million.

h.b. - I'm saddened for your family for it's loss and touched by the grace of your memorial. Aunt Lorraine is clearly one of those special people that touch our lives in a deep and meaningful way. How blessed you are to have had her in your life!


Sincerest condolences to the family of a great lady.

RIP Aunt Lorraine,I know that you were very well loved.My condolences to you and your family h.b. :(

WTF? How did my commented get triplicated?

Huh. I didn't think triplicated was a real word. When spell check didn't complain I looked it up.

WTF? How did my commented get triplicated?

Huh. I didn't think triplicated was a real word. When spell check didn't complain I looked it up.

Condolences HB. Thank you for sharing the story - "for it was right then that I first realized that really anything is possible" is a beautiful line.

I give up. Soxaholix and Firefox 5 are not playing nice today.

So sorry for yet another loss in your life, hb. Here's hoping the clearly fond memories you have of Aunt Lorraine will help you through this difficult time. And hopefully she was able to enjoy this year's Stanley Cup championship by the B's.

So sorry for your loss, hb. Will be thinking of you, your family and (as always happens in moments where you are allowed into someone else's loss and begin to reflect on your own life and mortality), my own beloved connections in this world today. Take care.

My sincerest condolences, H.B. She sounds like an amazing woman. (Something that obviously runs in your family.)

sorry for your loss and pain. Treasure the good memories and take solace is that her favorite team sent her off as a winner.

Deepest sympathy on the loss of your aunt. I guess she figured that with the Bruins' achievement of a Stanley Cup, it was time to go on her next great adventure!

God Bless Aunt Lorraine.

unironically,

lc

Just talked to my cousin and he's going to try to scan me the photo of his mom (my aunt) with Bobby Orr in Russia. I'd forgotten about that. It was one of the first things you'd see when you walked in their house. :)


if/when happens, I'll post.

Your Aunt Lorraine will be missed. I already miss her award-winning quiche.

Kaz,

Literal LOL on that one! Perfectly timed/place humor. Thanks.

No problem. Let us know if you need anything.

Well done, Kaz.

HB - My condolences. Certainly tough times but that picture is perfect - I hope it can be found. I keep a picture of me and my grandfather (died in '02) in our Sox gear nearby for that same reminder of the importance of family. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Condolences from New Zealand (a couple of islands to the right and down a bit from Austalia).

I'm late to post, as usual. Sadly, and strangely enough, I spent the day visiting a friend on the wrong end of a battle with cancer. My favorite aunt and uncle are also gone. I drove by their house today for the 1st time in several years. Go figure.

And in yesterday's paper, I read the obit of the 4th classmate of mine to die in the past year. 4th out of a class of 230, and we're 48 fucking years old. I call BS. Too damn young.

Sorry for your loss hb. As Joe, said she went out a winner, just as my Mom did following the 2004 Sox WS win.


We just buried my father in law, a huge Sox and Bruins fan. I knew he was ready to move on to whatever is next when he showed no interest in either the Sox or B's this season. But I'm sure he is smiling down now at the thumping the yanks took tonight.

Fascinated to see that Bob's comment on Amazon was 'removed by author'. Which author? The author of the e-book? The author of the comment? Stephen Fucking King? WTF????

sdu

It's not a conspiracy, SDU. Or Stephen King (although he still holds a grudge against me for the whole "running him over" incident). I moved the comment from the comment section under Kaz's review to the overall review section.

Very moving tribute hb... Aunt Lorraine reminded me of my favorite aunt, also a huge sports fan as well.

Thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

A great, moving tribute. Russia in 1972! What an adventure. You failed to mention that they probably broke the mold when your Aunt died. Very sorry for your loss HB.

Sorry to hear about Aunt Lorraine. Sports connect us in so many ways...took me back to the days when my little brother's favorite bedtime story was "A Child's Biography of Bobby Orr", our cat was named Esposito, and I won an elementary school spelling bee by spelling Yastrzemski.

Condolences from VA. h.b.

h.b., Sorry for your loss, your tribute to your Aunt was beautiful. xo

I like this site,because its style is simple.

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