Some sad times in our family this weekend.
My 89 year old aunt, Auntie M, died.
The first to go of my mother's three sisters.
Auntie M shown seated in this pictured.
This is a woman who had a very, very tough life and who was never a very strong woman, but who continued to maintain even as life dealt some terrible blows.
The worst came one evening when her husband came home and was there for 2 hours when he had a heart attack. She rode in the ambulance with him, and then suffered the indignity of riding home alone on a bus to tell her six children their father was dead at 41.
Her youngest was 9 months old.
She suffered severe hardships raising the children; they never had a lot, and they lived in some awful places, but her greatest accomplishment is that her family is very, very connected and close to each other.
My cousin Jan is pictured here closest to the front.
She took care of Auntie M for the past 7 years. Auntie M suffered from lupus and her kidneys had been working at 15% for the past few years. Two weeks ago her doctor, who has cared for her for 25 years, told her that her kidneys were shutting down and that he wouldn't put her through the painful process of dialysis.
She was philosophical about what her doctor had to tell her, kind of how she dealt with every blow life handed her.
Guess she wasn't the sister without strength after all.
Saturday morning at about 5:30 she passed away.
Although her life was not easy, her death was.
Unfortunately it is difficult to know when the grieving will end because it has been a bad year for my cousin Mike, Auntie M's oldest son.
He had a stroke in June (he's 58), his wife died of a heart attack in August (she was 58), and now his mother has gone. On Saturday after his mother died he had another couple of mini-strokes that put him back in the hospital.
He is out now, but has to go back to the doctor after the funeral on Tuesday.
So as I said, some sad, stressful times around here.