She knew how to make us kids laugh.
Always smiling, cracking jokes, buying treats,
taking us on adventures.
Aunt Peggy had no children of her own.
She gave her love to us.

She knew how to love,
even if we were
just nieces and nephews.

I think someone must have loved her once.

She dated a man the year I turned eleven.
For a time, she thought she could teach him.
Being cruel, he dumped her during Thanksgiving dinner.
We heard the whole thing from the kid’s table.

Birthdays, Christmas, summer break–all are filled
with memories of Aunt Peggy–
smiles and hugs and kisses and
wisdom on how to navigate this muddy rock
we call home.

Last September, she died.

Aunt Peggy was crossing at the light, cake in hand for my graduation,
when a college girl made an illegal turn and ran her over.
The street was a smear of blood and guts and buttercream icing.

The police report says the driver reached Aunt Peggy
just before she died.
The report records her final words: 

I never gave up.