Thursday, October 25, 2012
I got a call this morning that my Aunt Charlie passed away. I saw them a few years back on their last trip out to Vegas and she was just as "feisty" as ever. Mom and Aunt Charlie had a complicated relationship (as it is with all my family it seems). I know that there was love there but if you were to watch it in action I can't actually say that anyone would know it. They bickered and argued, debated and complained...but that was their version of love.
Right now, all I can remember about Aunt Charlie is bits and pieces of stories from mom about them growing up. I remember her with her kids and the worry she had for them. I remember the meals she threw together for the family gatherings after my grandma passed away in an attempt to hold the family together. I remember the knitting machine she was so proud of - I still have the blanket she made for me. Most of all I think about the arguing though and I wish that wasn't what kept sticking in my head. Overall I think she must have been a good person but I'll never really know because of the push and pull of our family dynamic.
We do our family reunions at funerals and I'm not even able/willing to make the trip this time to do that. I don't know these people anymore - I probably never really knew them more than casually anyway. A good person would make the effort right, they are after all "family". Maybe I'm just getting old, but I guess I'm just going through the motions sometimes when I call and check in. I don't want to get dragged into the story of what is going to happen next because I remember when my grandma & grandpa passed away and it wasn't pretty watching the pulling apart of a family as they took this book and that table away. If things can be more broken, I can wait to see the fractures for another decade or so....