So I just got home to hear one of my mother's famous answering machine messages.
Yes, she's asking if I'm coming over, as she always does, but then, after a pause she tells me that my aunt, her youngest sister, died today.
I'm both shocked and not. I'm shocked because her health had been improving lately...and her death is unexpected. I'm not that shocked, however, because I know she never really has gotten over what happened three years ago....when my cousin, her son, and his son, her little grandson, were both killed in a horrible accident.
My aunt was a loud, large, brazen woman, too soft-hearted for her own good sometimes. She had a hard life. She loved her children more than anything.
In her youth, she'd been dazzlingly beautiful. My mother, always a bit jealous of her younger sister's looks, compared her to Elizabeth Taylor at her most beautiful. Her pictures bear it out. I hope she's at peace now.
It's shaping up to be a rather depressing weekend already.