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New Years Day

I spent New Years Eve by myself. On New Years day, I walked down to the coffee shop as I usually do. When I got there, I discovered I didn't have the book I was going to read in my backpack. Then I got a phone call from a number I didn't recognize. When I called it back, I discovered it was a message from my cousin Mary telling me that my aunt Mima had died (for regular readers of this journal, it was cousindoc's mom, not Mary's.)

Damn what a New Years Day. I called my cousin back later to talk to her.She told me about some of the things she had been going through and they were bad. Listening to what she's been through helped give me some perspective, something I desperately needed that day.Her daughter died at the age of 35 a few years ago, and now Mary is raising her teenage daughter (the father is dead too.) 

It was good to talk to her because it made me ask myself  "what exactly were my piddly little problems again?". That's always a healthy question to ask yourself. Especially on those days when you need a little perspective. And it was good for other reasons. I hadn't talked to her in forever. All through the conversation, I kept thinking that I was spending that time in the best way it could possibly be spent. Another healthy thing, and one I don't experience very often.  Maybe it was because she needed someone to talk to, maybe because it's just good to touch base with family. I guess it doesn't really matter why.

I haven't said much about the aunt that died. She was 92 years old, and  did live a very good life. The saddest thing is that she was the last of her brothers and sisters (including my father) to die. It's sad when a generation has completely passed.

She was a good cook and an excellent hostess. For many years we had Thanksgiving dinner at her house on the night before Thanksgiving.
The normal bodily secretion  when thinking about the recently departed is tears, but not in this case. I am salivating a bit as I think about the delicious scalloped oysters I enjoyed at her house. I may have gained a couple of pounds just from thinking about them.

My favorite memory of her is on my tenth birthday. I usually didn't get a present from her, but for some reason I happened to be with her that day ( I don't  remember why.) We were in a department store, and told me she wanted to buy me a present and for me to pick something out. I went to the record section and got The Rolling Stones Let It Bleed.

That's a happy and vivid  memory. Happy  because she was thinking of me, and vivid  because it links together Aunt Mima and the Rolling Stones...a rather unforgettable conflation. This is a woman born in 1917 in a small southern town. She was very far from being one of those annoyingly proper southern women, but on the other hand I can't see her at Altamont.

Or maybe I CAN see her at Altamont. Maybe, through a combination of scolding and promises of her scalloped oysters  as a reward, she could have gotten those Hells Angels to behave themselves.

I'm embedding a video of Gimme Shelter from the Let It Bleed album.For good or ill, I think it's always going to make me remember Aunt Mima.

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I'm sorry for your loss. *hugs*
Thank you.