The day started out dark, cold, and rainy. It was pouring when I stepped out of the car to see my grandson for his birthday, but half an hour later the rain stopped. It remained damp and cold for several hours, but the sun eventually decided to make an appearance and it turned out to be a beautiful afternoon.
The were lots of tears and hugs today. I saw complete strangers, old friends and former neighbors, and lots of cousins (on James' side). One of the guests thought she might know me and asked if I was Pam Carr. I've been told before I look like Pam, but it's been many years. About 40, maybe a few more. I told the woman asking that Pam is my cousin, the woman told me her name, and then we realized the real reason I looked so familiar. We grew up living across the street from each other. Renee is just a couple years older than me. We never hung out much. Our mothers weren't the best of friends, but back when we were kids all the neighborhood children played outside. There really wasn't anyone we didn't know.
Maybe I haven't seen Renee in ages, but I was thinking of her just a day or two ago, because of my foot. My right foot. The foot whose 3rd and 4th toes often feel like they're popping in and out of joint while I walk. I wondered if Renee ever had the same foot problem as me because as little girls we both sat on our heels to control a desperate bladder. It was impossible to get up and run to the bathroom without losing all control, and we would sit like that, totally embarrassed, with tears rolling down our faces waiting for the urge to dissipate. Once control was regained, getting to the bathroom was no problem. Sometimes I still sit on my heel, and fifty years of sitting on my heel has taken a toll on my poor toes... (Getting old is interesting for sure.)
The daycare owners were at today's event. Their son is engaged to the daughter of James' cousin Angel. It is strange to see them in a different setting, and stranger still to have one of the owners give me a hug. Sometimes it can be easy to forget in the confusion and frustration that is work, to remember these are people too.
Today is done. The Celebration of Life at the park was good. There were lots and lots of people. Tomorrow there will be another remembrance in a different place, for a different person, my cousin Pam's mom, my Aunt Margie. There will be more strangers, old friends, and cousins (this time on my side). Another goodbye, and more tears.
I'M TURNING INTO MY AUNT CASSIE
2 hours ago