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.
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! 🙂