My great aunt, Yvonne, died1 last night. She was 94, sick, and enrolled in hospice, so it wasn’t unexpected. Still, I’ve spent the day thinking about her.
What’s surprised me the most is that I don’t really have many specific memories of Aunt Yvonne. She was a fixture of my childhood until I was eight or so; I didn’t see her a whole lot after that.
I remember the trailer she had in a retirement community. It was a bright golden yellow and easy to spot from the road. She had a chihuahua that terrified me because I was always warned that the dog disliked kids and might bite me. One day, I spent a few hours with her and watched as a painter coated the walls of her home in a fresh coat of snowy white.
Mostly, I remember how she was kind in a world that is so frequently cruel. At the end of the day, there’s little else that matters.
I hate the phrase “passed away” and don’t really use it. ↩