a life well lived

Sunday, March 23, 2014

EKA 03/23/00

Emilie's license plate - EKA.  Emilie Kessel Asplundh.  I have been
drifting through a lifetime of memories, spending this - the day of her memorial service - in smiles of remembrance.

Of being an elementary school student, back in the late teens or early '20s.  I was a fifth grader coming down the Pike from Sorrel Horse.  Back then, the elementary school, high school and college were all on the campus that is just the high school now.  Lorna Johnstone (to be Hicks), Emilie's dearest friend and a dorm student, would walk to the Pike to meet Emilie, who would walk to school from Sleepy Hollow, where her family lived in a farm house back behind where Glencairn is now (it was just a twinkle in RP's eye at this point in time).  Every day, they would meet up at the Pike and walk to school together.  I loved seeing those two high school girls together, they were both so lovely and they played off of each other so well, Lorna with her fair hair and Emilie with her dark.  They seemed to my starry 5th grader's eyesthe ultimate in beauty and grace.  Watching the two of them walk together to Benade Hall seemed to me like watching two angels, walking together, rapt in friendship. 

I always felt that when she married Carl Asplundh, Emilie was the bigger "catch."  She was the perfect foil for Carl - a strong woman who never seemed to dominate, but whose powerful presence was strongly felt.  A gracious hostess for a man building, with his brothers, a remarkably successful company, a loving mother and a good friend to so many.

In my mind's eye, I see her at a party they had after a trip to Hawaii. Emilie demonstrated to us the hula, which she had learned.  And in back of her towered Carl, burlesquing her every movement and bringing the house down with laughter.  That moment still epitomizes in my mind their remarkable partnership and love.

I cannot image the blow Carl's death must have been to Emilie.  It was so sudden,.  As I recall, after going to a party on Saturday night, he died in his sleep.  I can still remember the shocked gasp when the minister announced his death the next morning.  It just did not seem possible.   Much like I feel about Emilie's passing, even though it was far from unexpected or premature.

Am tired and must toddle, taking with me more memories of Emilie to share another time. 

Most people felt that Emilie was blessed by life, and in so many ways she was, but what made her a truly "golden girl" were the blessings she gave to life. 

Love to you all  –  Kay

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