I'm praying for my Dad these days. And my Uncle Jim, and cousins and their kids.
My Auntie Audrey passed away last Friday. She survived one cancer to be struck down later by liver cancer. She wasn't very old, in the grand scheme of things. Only just past 68. She'll leave a big hole in the Okanagan valley where she lived.
The hardest part about this is knowing how to feel. It makes me sad, but I think it's one of those sadnesses that comes more from regret than acute pain. These are good people, but they are my Dad's people, and they lived away, while my Mom's people were very close, geographically. I regret that we weren't able, when we were young, to know them better. I regret that when I was older, I didn't take the time to know them better. This was the last living female relative who was the most, physically, like me. This was an Aunt who was recognizable as my Aunt, and who could have passed for my Mother, based on body type and facial similarities. I have two sisters, and I alone inherited the "Bandura Boobs". I look at our Wedding pictures and recognize my calves (not the mooing kind) in the picture of my Aunt giving me, the bride, a congratulatory hug. The older I get, the more it means to know where I come from; to know my physical and geographical history. Aunt Audrey was part of that history.
Aunt Audrey had a generous, loving spirit. She was positive. She did not become bitter or resentful as she approached the end of her life. She had no regrets. I know she will be missed.
I wish I had known her better.