I was subbing an English class on Monday when my mother sent me a message that my great-Aunt, Gin, had passed away. Aunt Gin had been frail for several years, though it was still a bit of a shock as these things always are. I remember when my grandfather visited last Christmas, and as he gave me a report of her health, I realized she was–most likely–the next to go. I had hoped that if I were able to go to Ohio this summer I would have a chance to stop in and see her.
Aunt Gin is my grandmother’s sister. Two of the four are gone, now. In Gin, there was an echo of my grandmother, more so than with the younger sisters. She had some of those little habits, little ways of saying something that recalled my grandmother’s idiosyncrasies. When the four sisters were together–reunions, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Memorial Day at the old farm–things were loud and boisterous and non-stop.
I wouldn’t have thought so at the time, but I miss those days of the four sisters, crowded in one room, laughing and talking up a storm (to borrow a phrase from them). All four would be talking at once, it seemed, and often the conversations barely related to one another. And yet, somehow, they all kept up, dipped and dived in and out of the whirlwind of conversation like a bat chasing mosquitos at dusk.
With the death of Aunt Gin, half of that equation is gone, now. Time and circumstances have changed. Those echoes still linger, but they grow fainter by the year. The key actors are missing. We cannot recreate the scenes, even if we wanted to.
What we can do–what I can do, now, in the wisdom of adulthood–is enjoy the moments I do have with my grandfather, my mother and step-dad, Cami’s family. It is appropriate to drink in the experiences.
When I was a child and we gathered as a family, I enjoyed the experience, but I didn’t appreciate the temporary, fleeting nature of things I took for granted. Now, I see the beauty of the most pedestrian moment. I paused to just enjoy sitting for a few moments in the Florida sun with my grandfather, a content smile on his face as he thought about the winter weather he’d left behind.
I’m tired of filling my days with things that won’t matter, ever, in any possible way; I’m tired, too, of filling my mind with things that do nothing more than kill time and waste my energy.
I’m going to be taking a few days off from blogging. Several online friends have written guest posts for the blog. I hope you enjoy reading a different perspective. I’ll be back at the end of next week.