Whenever there's a death in the family, my mind's eye goes back to the dining room of my grandmother's house. There, everyone's alive, arguing, eating, laughing. Everyone. Nana, Uncle Bert, Ma, Poppa, Uncle Les, Aunt Rose, the Van Keuran sisters, Johnny, Tommy, Billy... all of us in Sunday clothes. There's plenty of mopery and miserableness, but we're all alive.
Having that keen a memory is a blessing and curse. I'm blessed to have had them all, and cursed to have lost them all but one already. I've tried to die many times in my life- almost all the time til I was 30, in some way or other- and can't, it seems. I'm afraid I'll be the one who lives to 94. And I think of Nana, and all her losses- she lost everyone, including 3 infant children. She outlived everyone. Jesus how do you do it?
I don't have answers. I remember her as very strong willed, quick-tempered and stubborn, with an incisive blue eye like QE2; but I also remember her laughter. And I guess that's all you get in life. Hints. Make of it what you will. Or, in my family, Do What Thou Wilt. ;)
Peace to you this Sunday. Call your family.
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