Sunday, November 11, 2012


My favorite aunt passed away this morning at 7:20. Ola Olivia Alexander Gara has joined the Lord and is no longering suffering from cancer. She battled bravely to the end, God was merciful and she is no longer in pain. She leaves behind two daughters, Jennifer Gail Gara Gietzen (Jeff) and Katheryn Alexis Gara Morton (Jeff) and three grandchildren, Alex and Kyle Bayley and Claudia Gietzen. She is also survived by her sister, Bettie Joy Alexander Bethke, my mom. Nieces and nephews include: Rebecca Smith (Richard), Marsha Bain (David), Marvin Mikeska, Judy Higdon, Bettie Hairston,and Dale Alexander. She leaves behind great nephews and nieces: Jason Mikeska, David Keefer, Justin Smith, Bryan Jones, Ashley Higdon, Mathew Bain, Britney Bain, and Christine Mikeska. Great-grand nieces and nephews include: Kaleb Mikeska, Kamryn Keefer, Jonathan Stafford(by marriage)and Reagan Smith, Emily Bain, Christopher and Jonathan Brockwell, David, Nicole and Dryden Jones. I mention the extended family because my Aunt Ola took great care to make sure we knew she was always thinking of us. Christmas always included boxes of cute gifts from the oldest niece to the youngest great-grand nephew. I was always surprised at her ability to remember everyone as most of the previously mentioned relatives are my mom's side of the family. I gave up long ago trying to get individual gifts just to say I love you, but I admire people who do this. We are enjoying the company of my aunt's sweetheart for about 15 years. I remember the evolution of this relationship well. My aunt loved to square dance, and met Francis through this hobby. They danced together for years, and Ola's wish was to die on the dance floor. That's an interesting way to end one's life. Die while engaged in something you love doing. I want to go that way.....maybe while painting a sunset over the ocean. My aunt has once again inspired me. She always did.