The last one standing

It happened. The sad news we knew was going to come too soon was delivered. My aunt – Dad’s youngest sibling – passed away very early Tuesday morning.

Alzheimer’s disease.

This leaves Dad the last one standing. All his three brothers and his three sisters have passed from this life. 

The memorial service was held Saturday morning. Uncharacteristically, Dad was very quiet during our hour-long drive to get there. He was a little jittery at the service but held his composure. It was a lovely service. The reverend who conducted the service shared Scripture in a way I had never heard it presented at such a service – or maybe ever before. He brought it alive and spoke it in a way that should make its meaning very clear to most there; it was wonderful. What was shared about my aunt was very fitting and even funny. Everyone loved my aunt who could brighten any gathering, the mischievous one who always made people laugh, the gentle one with the positive outlook and sweet spirit.

At the reception afterward I knew Dad didn’t immediately know most people who came over to talk with him, and most didn’t realize they should introduce themselves to him to give him a chance to remember. I tried to clue them in, but looking at Dad you wouldn’t know there is anything wrong – in his late 80’s he looks years younger and is very spry for his age – so unless you know about the dementia you just … wouldn’t know at first. And he covers it well, with grace, and with humour.

We all made it through that morning quite well, despite our loss. It is always wonderful seeing family members we don’t see much, but is your family anything like ours? It’s usually at funerals that we see each other again. Over forty years ago my parents, sister, and I moved to this county (notice I said county, not country), which means we live farther from most of our relatives on Dad’s side. We used to have a family gathering every Canada Day, but that hasn’t happened for many years. On Saturday my sister suggested to some of our cousins that we have a ‘cousins day’, which she wants to organize for down our way one day this summer. It seems to be a favourable idea, even though they would have the longer distance to travel for the get-together, but if they’re willing it could be fun.

Out of sorrow will come something positive. My aunt would like that.

Do you have family gatherings or reunions? How do you handle distance from family?

 Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

 

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10 responses to “The last one standing

  1. I’m sorry for your loss Lynn and off course your dad’s. It can easily end up that families gather at weddings and funerals but don’t see each other except on those occasions. I’ve been meeting up with my cousins that way for a long time.
    After I lost my last Aunt it occurred to me that I’m now the eldest of the new Older Generation. I hope to make sure my daughter and her cousins get to meet on more occasions than just my funeral.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

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    • Thanks, David.
      It seems with the way the world is now with all the techie stuff, it’s even easier to not be in personal contact with people. Someone has to take the initiative or we will drift farther away from one another and not even notice.

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  2. I am sorry that you lost your aunt. She sounds like someone I would really like, if I had met her.
    I hope your “cousins’ day” works out. 🙂
    Erik

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    • Thanks, Erik. I am sure you would have liked my aunt a lot. She was lots of fun.
      If our “cousins day” works out I will blog something about it. 🙂

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  3. Please accept my condolences on your loss. I’m glad you are keeping positive. Sending love and energizing thoughts.

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  4. I’ve been away and missed some of your posts. I’m sorry to hear of the passing of your aunt. I am impressed at how your father handles his situation. You are blessed to still be able to take him out. I do hope your cousins day happens. We are spread out but make a point of meeting at least once every 5 years. It is so great to see everyone and catch up.

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  5. So sorry for your many losses, especially the latest heart hurt. No words can take away the pain. But I’m glad you can find a little positive out of all the negative. I am so trying to live my life that way, too! ❤

    Jamie Dement (LadyJai)
    Be Positive in Life and Writing
    Caring for My Veteran

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    • Thanks, Jamie. I think of my aunt’s husband often and her son and daughters. My uncle took such good care of her for as long as he could, I’m sure he is missing her profoundly.
      We go this way once, it is what we make of it and so much of that is attitude.
      Blessings and hugs.

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