Updating into July now (I’ll catch up.)
So, 5 months after my Auntie Jo passed away completely unexpectedly, we held a big family memorial service for her. Throughout most of my growing up we’d have these big family reunions on the 4th of July at my Uncle Tim & Aunt Jo’s place here in Connecticut (btw, I have 3 Aunt Jo’s on my mom’s side), and it was Auntie Jo #1’s favorite day of the day. As cousins grew up the big reunions kind of petered off; I hadn’t been to one in I don’t know how many years. I’m sad I didn’t get to experience one last 4th of July with Auntie Jo… Regrets. It poured and was freezing all day on the 4th. We gathered anyway and huddled under picnic tents and Uncle Tim’s gazebo, talking about past years and catching up. Eric & I were the only ones from my immediate family able to make it, and we were missing a handful of others as well, but it was still a pretty decent turn out.
The memorial itself was planned for the 5th, and it was perfect cloud-less weather. We brought Auntie Jo’s ashes to the cemetery and everyone helped in digging a small hole in the same plot where my mom’s parents’ ashes are both buried. Afterwards we all returned to Uncle Tim’s for the rest of the day. It was sad, but the atmosphere around this day was much more festive, with the sun and a picnic, kids swimming and cousins playing yard games. It felt like past 4th of July festivities. Most people seemed to have a sense of not wanting to allow this yearly reunion to slowly die again, and plans were already made to have next year’s up in Maine at my cousin’s house. It’s so easy to assume that people will never change, and that missing a get together or two isn’t a big deal. But I don’t want to regret when it’s too late. P.S. Going through some old family albums at the picnic, I found this snapshot of my mom and I in matching dresses: