Sunday, October 08, 2006

Happy 85th Birthday to my Aunt!

Mom and I went to a birthday party yesterday for my Aunt. Only, she's not really my aunt and she just turned 85 years old. She's my Dad's half-brother's daughter, which would really make her my Dad's niece and my cousin. But because she's only four years younger than my Dad we have always called her "aunt" which caused me a lot of confusion when growing up. We seldom saw them or other relatives but I was always puzzled about how she could be my aunt when she wasn't my Dad's sister and I didn't know she was his half-brother's (whom I'd never met) daughter. I have a lot of puzzling relatives like that. I don't know them and don't know how, exactly, they are related to me.

Anyway, it was good to see these people, however related for the first time in about 30 years! My Aunt (she will always be that to me in my mind) looked very good, better than my Mom, in fact, in some ways. But my Mom still drives and has her own apartment, so I guess really, Mom is doing better despite outside appearances. I talked with my three cousins (really my second-cousins) for a while and had a pretty good time.

I recognized my favorite cousin of the three, who is my age, right away, and his two sisters too. They did not recognize me. My relatives seldom do. I was invisible in my family and in the extended family too. Of course, as I've said, we did not see them much. Still, I recognized my three cousins immediately, out of a crowd of people. My favorite cousin is balding and has grown a bit portly but he hasn't changed a bit, neither had his two sisters. A poignant moment was when I was leaving to pull up the car for my Mom and he stopped me.

"I just have to know..." he said, and I, distracted by my hurry could not imagine what he was going to ask.

"I just have to ask if you are still in contact with Susan Geary?" I stopped my hurry to get the car and really stopped to look at him.

Susan (not her real name) was my best friend, and a neighbor while I was growing up. We both went off to school together after we graduated from high school. My cousin had met and fallen madly in love with her. They dated for awhile but Susan had spurned him saying, "He wants to put me in a cozy house with a white picket fence." and went off to Mexico to dig in some ancient ruins.

He was wondering about her still, so I told him a couple of things I knew. But I haven't seen her in 12-15 years, either. I told him that "Susan was still Susan." meaning she was the free, whimsical spirit that she used to be, plus a husband and two kids.

Later, after I'd dropped Mom off at her apartment and had gone home I couldn't quit thinking of my cousin and Susan. Details came to my mind that I wish I'd told him, like she had been living very close in a neighboring city to him and his wife, she'd grown her hair out again long enough to sit on, like when he'd dated her, she still was a tiny, petite woman, and that she'd also asked about him.


Blogger Fizzy said...

I have many Aunts who are not related to me in any way what so ever. When we were little you either called somebody by thier title (Mr, Mrs etc) Or if you were allowed you called them Aunt. (my family were very formalabout things like that)

Isn't it funny when events re-awake memories like this

9:37 AM  
Blogger Happy and Blue 2 said...

I am totally confused by the aunt who is a cousin but probably only a second cousin or a first friends aunts sister, ha,ha..

It's interesting how thoughts of old loves stick with people. I wonder about a girl I went out with years ago that moved away as well..

9:48 AM  
Blogger deni said...

Glad you had a nice time.

I always think of things I should have said, after the fact.

2:15 PM  
Blogger Grant said...

Hippy bertday to your aunt.

4:58 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Awwwww, childhood cool. Yaaay Happy Birthday to your aunt :o)

6:48 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

congratulations and happy birthday to your Aunt. I also have a couple of 'non-aunts' for want of a better phrase...and my children also have a couple themselves. Very close friends of mine that have been there from the start as they grew up that they still refer to as Aunty today. I like that and my friends love it. (just as I love that my godson calls me Aunty Lisa.)

How very interesting about your cousin and Susan. Kinda makes you wonder eh? Mind you, I still think occasionally of a couple of high school sweethearts I used to have. Would be cool to know what they were doing now and how their lives had played out.

4:21 AM  
Blogger ordinarygirl said...

Sorry, I know this is long past when you first posted, but I had to post how cool the story was about your cousin and friend growing up.

I try to avoid thinking of the past too much myself, but that was a really sweet story.

2:55 PM  

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