So long, Cuz

Greetings, PoliNationals.

This seems to be the default “open” thread, since Pete only phoned in a comment today, so I’ll leave this here.

Pete, hung up by tech guy. Yeah, sure, Pete. Pete’s out there carousing and cavorting instead of doing due diligence on posting links for us people too lazy to go looking for the news ourselves.

I just wanted to check in, is all.

Tomorrow, we drive over to the church by the lake for the family farewell ceremony for my cousin who died last month. She was a few years older than I am. We were always close. I loved my funny cousin.

She fought to overcome her gawky, awkward body and different mindedness, all her life. Our seeming shortcomings can be our spiritual gifts. She was a mother, a teacher, an artist, and a woman who enjoyed life. She loved Christ.

She twice married scoundrels. Why God lets his purest souls get seduced by the demons I don’t know. Sometimes, it’s like this. Despite hard times, my cousin triumphed in faith.

Her eldest of two daughters went through hard phases but ended up rock-solid, serving in Korea, Iraq, and Afghanistan. A bit… controlling. But rock-solid.

The younger daughter replicated her mother’s genetic problems, adding some maybe from her goofy and sinister sire (long divorced and best forgotten). This younger daughter survived her own wars against physical and mental problems. Thanks mostly to the perseverance of her mother, but also the support of my cousin’s parents, the younger daughter, who folks thought would never be anything but “retarded” as we used to say, was mainstreamed, graduated, and turned out to be, among other things, a brilliant musician. Right now she is setting up to play drums for a (paying!) gig with my daughter’s musical trio at the Price Tower bar. Her older sister, the warrior, is in town from Oregon, to see them. It’s a poignant weekend.

A fighter to the end, an artist who died too soon, with so many paintings and children’s stories I know she had in her heart and mind, yet to be told, but not in this life.

It’s okay. Let this world go. You did good, cousin! Real good.

Milady was her main support through the terrible six months of her decline. We at first expected her recovery. Although she spent weeks bouncing between nursing home and hospital, we expected her to return to her apartment. That wasn’t to be. We’ve spent the last month cleaning up after her life. I’m scanning and printing photos for the service tomorrow. (Milady on an errand run is getting more ink and photo paper.) Pictures of my cousin as a baby, in grade school, at the other end of her magnificent life. Brown-stained black-and-whites out of focus, sharp as a knife in spirit. Her father in WW2 uniform. Her mother’s ID from Lockheed in Dallas during the war. A family now gone but for her sister, but which family spirit lives on in the hearts of so many.

Some emotions have no definition. Nostalgia, grief, joy, hope, all blended with feelings inillucidatable.