Friday evening, I received a phone call from my Canadian cousin. He calls to tell me his mother, my mom's sister, has passed away. This is a shock to us all. Though she was 87, she seemed in good health. My cousin lives in Ontario and my aunt had moved out to British Columbia about 10 years ago. They had just spoken on the phone over Canadian Thanksgiving; she was in excellent spirits and living a social life, with many friends, and her various activist causes.
I can't believe it and I am feeling a bit numb. Having lost my mom nine months ago, it was comforting to know my aunt was still around; she was the connection to my mom and my Canadian heritage.
My cousin had a "roller coaster" day that day. Three hours after receiving the call that his mom was gone, his wife's daughter gave birth to a bouncing baby boy. Joy and sorrow. New life and bereavement. Life cycles vividly demonstrated.
Thankfully my cousin and I are close, both in friendship and distance. We will be heading up to northern Quebec to the place where all of us got together over the years. It will be early summer and the air up there, a combining of country farm fields, misty mountains and the St Lawrence river, will be special, sparkling and reminiscent of so many summers past. We shall raise a glass to our moms and honor them with great retellings of favorite stories, flavorful French-Canadian foods and a bonfire under the black velvet sky just inundated with millions of bright stars. The birch, pines, maples and abundant apple trees will add their comforting presence, soughing in the gentle breezes.
And a sweet memory will cause smiles and a few tears. We shall feel the presence of these remarkable, beloved women, this I know.