Goodbye to J
One of my favorite relatives died yesterday. Before you get all "aww..." about it I must say I haven't seen her in 20 years, she was almost 90 and the "favorite relative" part is based entirely on memories of when I was a kid. So this is not a seriously depressing, soul-damaging loss.
"J" and my father were first cousins. (J's mother and my grandmother were sisters.) J's eldest son is my godfather though, like his mom, I haven't seen him since I was in high school.
J was a total character. The one with the infectiously rude laugh. The one who told mildly dirty jokes to the kids, which completely endeared her to us all. She'd drink like a fish back when all the adults at parties had "highballs" rather than just wine. She would grab any baby that came her way out of the arms of any unsuspecting mother and not give the baby back until the party was over. She drove an ancient brown station wagon like it was a Sherman tank and was one of the keepers of the family lore. Need to know how great Uncle Fred was actually related to the family (his stepfather was Auntie's M's third husband)? Ask J. Can't remember if the C family moved to Marin County before or after the 1906 quake? Ask J.
I'm going to miss J. Not in a "crying because of my loss" way but in a "she was a force of nature and the world is slightly dimmer without her" way.
So thanks to J for all the memories. For being partially responsible for giving me my first martini (at my father's funeral). For giving me a tube of waxy red lipstick for my 13th birthday. For leading the family in the Charleston at a cousin's wedding. I'm gonna miss you.