Tomorrow I’m flying to San Jose for my Aunt Edna’s funeral. My mother’s favorite aunt and the last of her generation, she made it to 100 years, plus 3 1/2 months and she was spunky to the end. I’ll miss her. When I think about her, I hear her voice. She always talked loud and fast with a hint of a Portuguese accent. You knew when Edna was in the building, and she never lacked for an opinion. She was also always fashionably dressed. In her later years, her hair turned the most beautiful white. Her eyes still sparkled and she had a wonderful smile.
Widowed for approximately 50 years, Edna never had any children. Neither did her sister Virginia, who is still going at 92 or 93. They lived in separate houses on the same street in San Jose. Nice houses with beautiful gardens. And they traveled all over the world together. There isn’t much of this planet that they missed. They weren’t all cushy cruises either; not that long ago, they took a freighter through the middle of Europe. Even when Edna started saying, “Oh, my traveling days are over,” we’d hear that she was going again. A stroke finally kept her home, but she lived a lot of years and used them well.
I often cringe at the term “celebration of life,” especially when the person died too young or suffered too long. But I think this truly will be a celebration, and I am selfishly looking forward to seeing my family again all gathered in one place.
I could live without the whole business at the airports, the shuttles, security, luggage check and retrieval, etc., but I have a whole lot of hugs waiting for me down south. Plus it’s warm as opposed to the clouds and cold hugging the Oregon Coast. I might not even need my raincoat. Imagine that.