I am no stone. I don’t have my head buried in the sand thinking that I or my relatives will live forever. There is never a good time for death, but the beginning of the holiday season is particularly unpleasant. First, the holidays are supposed to be bringing family together, not separating them forever. Many of my relatives died around the holidays, but thanks to selective memory, I try not to remember them when they died but as they lived. The time ticks down from the time you are born. It is our destiny to die. We all try to cheat death for as long as we can, despite our vices, but eventually the clock rings.
This weekend my Aunt Betty died.
This was the second Aunt that died in my life time, both younger than my dad. I didn’t think I would affect me as I heard the news from my mother. Aunt Betty had been ill for a long time. I won’t go into the details, but after a long struggle she succumbed, with her husband, John, of 47 years, at her side, her daughter, and her nephews. She was a matriarch to her two nephews after her younger sister died. She had a big heart that way. John and Betty used to carry on the tradition of having parties, just like her parents, and invite the entire block. There were easily 75 people there at their parties, usually around St Patrick ’s Day. There was an abundance of food, music, singing, dancing, and there was always a keg. Those are the times I will always remember about her; her laugh, her humor, her generosity, and her dancing. You didn’t have to be anybody except yourself, and there was a must that you enjoy.
I rummaged through my pictures to find one of her for Facebook, and I found one of her and my dad. I cropped to just her. I posted it, and then it hit me. Tears. Not that I knew anything of Aunt at all, but I was sad. Sad that I didn’t have or take the time to know her better and sad that the world would not know of her. Perhaps her deeds will be forgotten, but I will always remember how she made me feel:
Reset in peace, Auntie.
Update (12/3/14): Went to her viewing in NJ. It was so good to see my relatives there, along with a room full of all of her friends. She had so many friends, I was nice to see such a turnout for her. It was a great send off. RIP!