A month ago my dear Aunt Carmella died.
Neither unexpected nor tragic.

Of course I went to the funeral.
On the morning of her burial, I was at the funeral home, hanging out with Auntie’s daughter, my dear cousin, Joan.
A wonderful woman.
She and I close all of our lives.
She a nurse, working full-time, plus caring for her mother, bringing up her family, and bringing up her nephews and nieces, taking everything in stride.
Never complaining, Joan.
Accepting all of the trials life presented her.

That morning, hanging w her at the funeral home, very strange.
Joan was distracted, hardly finishing a response, eyes constantly scanning her large family.
This tete a tete odd throughout.
That was a month ago.
Or so.

Then yesterday I get a call from my cousin Michael.
Never a good thing.
While Mike and I were good cousins, full of love, we had different orbits.
So a call from Michael not a good thing.
And in the event, it wasn’t.
Cousin Joan passed.
Very ill, she.
We commiserated.

Then the sadness.
As per Michael, Joannie had told her children to be sure to contact me.
Cousin Dom.
Because she wanted to be sure I attended her funeral.
And had lunch with our circle of cousins.
A lunch she obviously was constructing in her mind.
The first such cousins’ lunch she wouldn’t be attending.

Be sure cousin Dom was notified.
“I want to be sure he comes.
“Because he didn’t come to my mother’s funeral.”

What a chill!
My cousin Joannie spending some moments of her last few thinking I had ignored her mother’s passing.
No! Joannie.
I was there with you.

My eyes filled.
How could I explain?
I couldn’t, the point.