Skip to content

Letter to the editor: Michael Clinton: An Ode to an Aunt I Barely Knew

"I now regret that I didn’t take time to be with her more as I grew older," Clinton said.
Photo by Pars Sahin on Unsplash

The Longmont Leader accepts contributions, photos, and op-eds for publication from community members, business leaders and public officials on local topics. Publication will be at the discretion of the editor and published opinions do not represent the views of The Longmont Leader or its staff. To submit a contribution, email

You’ve all heard the argument before. Why should I (fill in the blank) when I could get hit by a bus tomorrow?  The blank could be filled with “get a vaccine” or “stop smoking” or “eat salads”. 

Well, my aunt (in her 70s and a smoker) actually survived getting hit by a bus a couple of years ago, not without a lot of rehab though. It’s not surprising that this tough lady would not let a bus stop her, however she did sadly succumb to COVID in October and passed away. 

When I moved to Arizona after college I rarely saw her except for occasional holidays. But I can say without a doubt that she had a profound impact on my life. The first time I ever went camping, it was she who took me (my parents weren’t outdoorsy unless you count golfing or hitting the beach as outdoorsy). I still remember that first camping trip and the excitement of being outdoors at night … and the stars! I think I was around 6-years-old. I credit that trip with my eventual love of the outdoors that lasts to this day.  

The other impact she had on me was her streak of toughness and independence. When I was young, I knew of no other woman like her (my wife and daughter have this toughness and independence I can proudly say). 

Some in our family thought her an embarrassment due to divorces and a fleeting, artistic lifestyle. But time and experience has taught me that divorces only mean that you made a mistake and corrected it (rather than making a mistake and never correcting it). And an artistic lifestyle only means that one has followed their inner drive rather than exterior pressure from the world. 

I now regret that I didn’t take time to be with her more as I grew older.  I think there are two lessons here:  One, know that any time you spend time with a young person could be time that impacts that person for life; and two, don’t let time slip away before spending it with someone who you believe has had a positive impact on your life. 

RIP Aunt Susana!

Michael Clinton

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks