Funny how today, I was looking through my Facebook feed when I came across a photo that had my Great Aunt tagged in. This great aunt was the last of the grandpa’s siblings still alive. I clicked on her profile because I was curious if I could calculate her age. 88 years old – and the last of my grandpa’s seven siblings. Amazing for a family that has a history of heart issues and cholesterol issues.
I remembered meeting her for the first time and getting to know her. She lived down the road from my grandpa’s sister (my namesake), so I saw her and her girls often while I stayed with my namesake that summer. Her daughters and their boyfriends played catch with me. We watched the fruit bats while we sat outside in the night air talking and keeping each other company.
She was definitely my grandpa’s sister.
And my last connection to one of the men that I measure all others by – my grandpa….my dad’s dad.
What’s funny to realize is why I do that. Looking at my grandpa and his siblings, my grandpa and his brothers were all gentlemen, protective, and attracted to intelligent women. And his sisters – they were all strong and intelligent and self-sufficient. I was raised to be like my aunts by a man who is like his father and uncles. Funny how that works out.
An hour ago, I learned she had died today. My last connection to my grandpa’s family is gone – the era has ended.
Like all passings, my mind drifts to my grandpa, my grandma, my great aunts and uncles…..and my heart feels heavy but happy too.
They were an amazing family who built some pretty amazing families themselves – not perfect, but amazing in their own ways.
That is the legacy we all hope to leave – our mark in people’s lives.
They have all succeeded.