Friday, December 17, 2004


My great-aunt Rassie died the other day and today is her funeral and burial. Because so much is going on with the living, and because it is a couple hour drive away for me, I can't go. But I can't believe I can't go! I love my Aunt Rass.

And she's the last one. Not literally the last one: out of sixteen brothers and sisters of that generation, I think there are four of the girls left. Rassie was eldest of those, being nearly 100. But she was the last of my favorites.

When I was a kid, I couldn't really keep who was who straight in that generation. They all looked so much alike that you could tell they were a sibling but there were only a few who really stood out to me. Noad who rode horses with me was one. Rass, being an old maid, always lived with siblings and during the summer months she would come and visit my grandparents for a few weeks. My grandparents lived beside of us so she in effect visited us too. She was an incredibly happy and loving soul.

And she was stone deaf. Her hearing aid would go off whistling, driving everyone crazy except her because even though it was IN her ear, she couldn't hear it.

But all my life she always spoke to me, always asked about my family. It has taken me forty years to learn perhaps but just that simple act of saying hello, how are you is such a loving thing, such a meaningful thing. Well, at least it is for me because I don't do it easily. I am not outgoing. And for me to make sure I speak to you means, frankly, that I love you. Otherwise I will just sit in my corner and watch you, as though I am a fly on the wall.

Since I couldn't go to her funeral, I really wanted to send flowers. But I didn't know what the arrangements were one day, and then when I did, I was gone, incommunicado. So I meant to order early this morning and then, forgot. I was so afraid I'd waited too long but the flower shop said they'd get something live over there. I thanked them profusely.

I was fine through all of this. Death is no stranger, and for a woman of nearly 100, it is expected and even somewhat relief. It is not sad that she died. I am simply glad that she lived, that she visited my grandparents, that I knew her. But when I finished ordering those flowers I sat and sobbed. I almost couldn't get my credit card number out to the man. I don't understand quite what that is but I love her and my tears somehow express that. And this, this little lowly blog entry in my too busy (but so far so good) week, is my commendation of my Aunt Rass to the Gods. Her spirit is welcome in my life at any time.

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