January 5th, 2007

scout

Another Death?

Geez, give me a break already.  My great aunt passed away this morning.  I wasn't expecting it today, but it was not a surprise.  She was going to be 95 this month, and her quality of life had been declining.  But it still sucks.  I don't think I'm going to make it to the funeral, which is in Chicago, but I'm glad I got to see her in August one last time.  I didn't see her much over the years, we lived far apart.  But she was terrific.  Spunky, lively, friendly, my grandpa's sister, and possibly my grandma's best friend.  I didn't know her too well, but every time I saw her was wonderful.  I remember going to Chicago in high school to play basketball, and my host family could tell from her voice that she was not my aunt, but my great aunt, a bit older.  They thought I wanted to visit her out of obligation and were willing to help give me an excuse out of it.  No, she may have been older, but I wanted to visit her.  And I'm glad I did.  Her husband had a stroke when I was really young.  I think there are pictures of me with him before the stroke, but I only remember him as the guy in the wheelchair who was hard to understand.  My aunt stood by him and pushed him the rest of his life, which was about 20 years, I think.  Not a small feat, since he was almost 6 feet tall, and she was probably 4'6".  In many cases you'd think the opposite effect would take place, but I always felt that all those years of watching after him and the physical toll kept her strong, kept her young.  It was hard to adjust the first time I saw her in a wheelchair, since I had always remembered her behind one.  But the years were finally taking a toll on her, and now she's in a better place, I'm sure.  And I'm also sure that wherever she is, the rest of the residents are happy she's arrived.