Today was another funeral–well, visitation for us. Kate’s ex-husband died last week of congestive heart failure, so we went by to pay our respects even though we really haven’t had much contact with him in the over thirty years since their divorce. My heart breaks for their son and daughter (my niece and nephew), who’ve lost both their parents in the space of about 4 months. They’re both hanging in, but dear god, how painful must it be? All her little grandkids were there and I wondered how hard it must have been on their parents to tell them they’d lost another grandparent…
Kate loved babies–oh, man, did she ever love babies! And babies loved her. She had five grandchildren and one great-grandchild and nothing filled her with joy faster than a baby to cuddle and kiss on. Here’s a couple of pics of her with her great-grandson.
About two and half years ago at Christmas, Son and DIL brought 6-month-old Grandboy back home to meet his extended family, and we just sorta opened the front door and invited anyone who wanted to meet the little darling to stop on by.
Lots of people dropped by to ooh and ah over our precious new grandchild, but Kate got here first, coming straight from work. The little guy had been the tiniest bit fussy after a long day of airplane travel and not being used to jet lag, but Kate just swooped him up and cooed and sang to him. He gave her the sweetest smile and laughed and cooed right back at her. This picture, from that day, of her with Grandboy is one of my favorites–aren’t they adorable together? And she set the tone for the whole afternoon and evening. Grandboy charmed and delighted everyone that day, but I like to think he has a special place in his little heart for his Great-Aunt Kate. I wish he could’ve gotten to know her…
Five Things I’m Grateful for Today:
- Gorgeous sunshine for my niece and nephew as they laid their dad to rest
- My brother-in-law, Everett–he personifies God’s gracious nature to me. He actually preached Kate’s ex-husband’s funeral today, ironically, on what would’ve been Everett and Kate’s 23rd wedding anniversary. That’s being a light, isn’t it?
- IRWA meeting this afternoon–I love these lovely writers!
- Things are greening up–we saw magnolia trees and forsythia in bloom on the way back from the funeral home–that’s a tree in front of the post office.
It’s National Siblings Day. All day, I’ve ached with missing Kate, but I have PJ and my brother, Bud, so I’m not feeling at all sibling-less–just less-siblinged, I guess. That’s all of four plus an assortment of kids, spouses, partners, etc.
When we were kids, our dad left us–I actually remember that day clearly even though I was only 6 years old at the time. But I’m not going to think about him, except to say that I think it may have made us closer as kids to only have Mom. She was so busy when he first left, going to school and working full time to keep food on our table, that it fell to PJ, who was about 12 and Kate who was 10 to be surrogate parents to Bud and I. They were the “big kids” and Bud and I were the “little kids.”
PJ cooked and cleaned and Kate was her trusty assistant. One time, a couple of years after Dad left, Mom decided that it was time for Bud and I to stop sharing a room. So she moved me into a twin bed in PJ and Kate’s bedroom in our tiny ranch house. I remember being sad that I had to leave the bunk beds, but still kinda pleased that I got to share a room with the “big kids.” The girls made room in their closet for my rather paltry wardrobe and gave me the bottom drawer of the dresser for clothes that didn’t hang. My Barbie doll and other toys found a home in the corner by my new bed because I learned very quickly that PJ hated tripping on “little girl toys” when she came into the bedroom.
Bed-making was kinda haphazard in our house. Bud’s rarely got made because he went back and forth between the upper and lower bunks after I got evicted and he never saw the point, I guess. PJ and Kate made theirs when the mood struck, but once Mom taught us how to do “hospital corners,” Kate got more vigilant. One day, Kate tried to teach me. Now, I’m 8 years old and my little hands can barely shake out a sheet, and yet, she sat there for the better part of an hour patiently showing me how to fold the triangles and do the tucking. Then she showed me how to bounce a quarter off the super-tight sheets, which I thought was the rockingest thing ever. She even gave me her quarter when I mastered it, so I could show off to Mom when she got home from work that night. Kate let me take all the bed-making glory that day…
Know what? I still make my bed with hospital corners.