Well, we made it through Sunday (my late aunt’s "graduation party to heaven") with flying colors. My two children, my dgd and I drove down to my parents’ house and then to my uncle’s where we joined my siblings, my four cousins, their thirteen children, spouses, aunts, uncles, nieces, friends, well, you get the picture. The house is large and at the head of a lagoon where a beautiful breeze blew through the windows keeping us cool. There were hugs, laughs, a tear here and there but mostly a feeling of closeness between people who had known each other for entire lifetimes and for whom there is an endless circle of relationship.
My aunt’s firstborn gave a short eulogy and people were welcome to comment. My darling Isabella fell asleep in my arms and that made everything right in my world. New relationships became established with the more distant cousins and talk of politics was avoided once we saw there were two divergent camps. Goodbyes were difficult but, as is the usual practice, we promised to keep in touch.
This time, I think, things will be different. I have already e-mailed the eldest of my cousins and requested the e-mail addresses of her siblings. Maybe we will get a cousins’ club going and maybe we won’t. Either way, we connected for several hours on a beautiful afternoon sharing grief, joy and the knowledge that we are connected by a bond that cannot be broken.
My sincerest thanks and gratitude to all of you who left comments with condolenses and for the prayers you sent up for my family and me. I was not particularly close to my aunt but she was only the second of that generation to pass (the first was so long ago I was only a small child) and this is a bit frightening to us, the next generation.
May the Lord be kind enough to leave a generous gap between this and the next homegoing in my family.