My mother called me yesterday to share the news that Nancy Ripley passed yesterday, leaving wonderful memories to her family and a a generation of excellence for all who knew the pulse and pace of Hamilton, New York.
I had to stop in my place and reminisce of my weekends as a school boy, visits to my grandparents on Milford Street, and the times we spent getting ice cream cones at the Nautilus from my great Uncle Hobie, his wife Nancy, and their daughter Barb. For me, their small sub-shop was a a treat to my weekend visits to Hamilton and I always loved, as a kid, that there was a soft serve cone waiting for me.
I said to my mom, "Wow, Nancy was the last of an incredible generation who took care of the Ripley clan in upstate, New York. I have memories of get togethers at her home, walking to their shop outside Colgate University, and the cherished stories that came whenever family had the rare opportunity to get together."
Barb and Jerry are the last of our family still residing in the beautiful enclave in upstate New York.
I'm saddened by the loss, but feel much calm knowing that Nancy will rest in peace as a matriarch who did so much for her daughter, son-in-law, and grandson. It's been so many years since the others passed and I can only imagine the heaviness she carried with her for the time that once was and the inevitable changes that arrive through time, history, and life.
I am thinking about family, blood relations, connections, and aging this morning (and I know I must have a vanilla ice cream cone to salute my great Aunt some time today).
My thoughts and prayers are with her immediately family, my mom and her cousins on this day. For me, Hamilton was a weekend and summer affair --- for them, it held legacy of their childhoods and formative years. I imagine this loss is tremendous to them, as Nancy was an icon for some of the greatest history Hamilton has ever known. R.I.P. Ripley style. The memories are full of laughter, kindness, family, and comfort.