Let’s see if you can get this straight…
My great grandmother and my great uncle from my father’s mother’s side passed away this weekend. The first passed on Friday and the latter passed on Saturday. I had not been aware of this until Monday evening when I was about to return to my apartment and my grandmother (from my mother’s side), who had just come from the viewing of a neighbor, heard from her sister’s husband how supposedly my grandmother and one of her son’s had died and they were being viewed together at a funeral home in town. Now… you have to understand, my father would have been the only son of my grandmother’s who is on island who would be viewed in my hometown. So immediately I discarded this information as false until I could get back into cell phone signal range. As soon as that happened, I received a voicemail from my father explaining the deaths. They were more or less who I assumed to be and since I’m not close to that side of the family, the call was a perfunctionary one to get the story straight.
Considering I had not seen my own father in 2 years (at the very least), it could be said that it had been at least triple that since I saw anyone else from that side of the family. My eldest uncle on that side I hadn’t seen in 14 years (and that’s estimating optimistically). Wakes, being for the living and not for the dead, meant that all my aunts and uncles flew in for the occasion. Knowing my mother would not be too happy to know I went (and perhaps it was slightly inspite of this), I returned to my hometown to make a guest appearance. I ask you not to judge me too harshly for the pure vanity of my appearance at these viewings… but I will bluntly admit that I went so all the family members could see how fabulous I was… and how I grew up without ever having any contact with them.
My father tried to strut around like the proud poppa, showing me off like the special piece of china. I put him in his place by mentioning to one and all how little I see him and how I even less hear from him. Seems he hadn’t much kept in contact with many of the rest of them. I thought I was going to have a miserable time, you know… force the smile, shake a lot of hands. But in the end, I was very glad I went. I spent most of my time chattering with said eldest uncle (who has MS) and at the end of the night hugged me so tight and said he hadn’t been feeling well, but was glad he’d stuck the night out just for the pleasure of seeing me… and how I’d grown up to be a bright young lady, with my mother’s beauty and brains and my father’s wit (those were his words, not mine).
Alright, so these are all my aunt’s and uncles… I’m standing between my father and my uncle Louis (the one mentioned above, he’s the one standing on the edge). Of course, I look more like this side of the family.