I received an email from a cousin today, and then tonight, a phone call from another cousin, Wanda, telling me Aunt Ruth passed away yesterday at age 93. That's Aunt Ruth on the left in the above picture, taken at the reunion in 2007. On the right is Aunt Gladys, who is still living. The two of them have resided in the same nursing home, the one in which my mother spent her last few years.
I regret that I never knew my paternal relatives as well as I did those on my mom's side of the family. Oh, we'd visit them, and meet for reunions. But I just never got to know them as well as I now wish I had.
Aunt Ruth was the typical farmer's wife, canning and preserving and making do with what she had.
These are Aunt Gladys' daughters. Wanda, on the right, is the one who called me this evening to make sure I knew about the arrangements. These girls were raised near Uncle Orval and Aunt Ruth; Wanda said they spent almost half their Sundays, growing up, at Uncle Orval's. She said Aunt Ruth was "a rock", always the same, never wavering; quiet and dependable and trustworthy.
Wanda and I spent quite a bit of time talking about the brevity of life and how fast time goes by. She said, "I don't want to live past eighty."
I said, "I don't care how long I live as long as I am enjoying life. And as long as I can wipe my own behind."
I don't keep in touch with my cousins like I should, and that's a sad state of affairs. They are all wonderful people. One of the drawbacks of being an introvert is that you don't stay as close to people as you should.
I now have two aunts left: Aunt Gladys (my dad's baby sister) and Aunt Mary (my mom's youngest brother's wife).
Life's evening sun is sinking low.