July 31, 2005

Life is unpredictable

My 93 year-old step-grandmother/great-aunt died on Thursday. She was my paternal grandmother's sister who then married my paternal grandfather after my paternal grandmother died in 1934 at the age of 26. Got it? Yes, complicated.

She was somewhere around four feet tall and I hadn't seen her since Souris and Silvio's wedding in 1998. Three weeks ago, I was compelled to travel to Santa Monica for a ten-day-visiting-family trip. Given pressure about coming out there, I disregarded it and went anyway. Souris, Silvio and I made it to Orange County to meet with an aunt from Canada whom we'd never met, and a couple of our first cousins, too (we have over sixty first cousins, we don't know how many exactly, and they range in age from five to seventy on my father's side - again, complicated). She was healthy and lucid and joked around with us. A few days later, she fell, and on Thursday she died. Just like that. I'm incredibly grateful to have been able to see her. Her son (dad's brother) was even luckier. He hadn't seen his mother in 30 years, came to America to visit her and his siblings, and after spending three weeks with her, was scheduled to leave the States three days after her death. He has been able to extend his trip now to attend her funeral. My lesson learned is, when intuition tells you to go see someone... GO.

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