Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Gertrude Wray

My aunt Gertrude passed away on Monday. Coincidentally, it was my brother Anthony's 33rd birthday....Jan 8 2007. Gertrude is my dad's older sister. My dad, who is 64, is the youngest of 12 children. His brothers, sisters, and their spouses (my aunts and uncles) are getting older and are being taken at a rapid rate it seems lately. This saddens me because they are great, outstanding people and unfortunately I don't know them very well.

For some reason, my dad's family is very close geographically, but not very close personally. Maybe my dad is close to his brothers and sisters, but I don't feel as close to them or my cousins as I would like. There is definietly love and respect between all in the family, but not a closeness like I see in other families. In the last few years one of my cousin's and I have been working on being closer and keeping in touch, but for the most part I don't feel close to my aunts, uncles, or cousins. It baffles me why this is because growing up we went EVERY month to a family gathering. You would think since I saw my extended family every month for all the years I was growing up that I would be close with all of them.

Please don't misunderstand me. I do not place any blame on anyone but myself....and I'm just more curious and asking myself "why" more than anything here. I feel a little guilty for not knowing my aunts and uncles better. Even though I am deeply saddened by deaths in my extended family, I love going to their funerals because I learn so much about their lives that I didn't ever know before. Is that terrible?

The good news about my Aunt Gertrude's death is that she will be able to be with her husband, Bob, who died a few years earlier. Bob was a great man and I'm sure she is anxious to be with him. The other good news is that my work allows two days bereavement for deaths of aunts or uncles, so I am going to be able to go to the funeral and see my family and extended family.

I would like to put some memories of Aunt Gertrude here, but unfortunately I have something working against me here. I have a terrible memory! I just know that Gertrude was a very friendly, kind, and gentle person. I can say that about all of my aunts...I have the greatest respect for them. I remember having family gatherings at Bob and Gertrude's house. We would meet in the basement, I think. I also remember that Gertrude was always smiling. I feel terrible for Gertrude's children because I know how hard it is to lose a mother. I pray for them that they will be comforted and wish that I could do something to ease their pain.