My great aunt passed away Friday night. She had cancer that had spread throughout her body and the 3 month window they had given her to live turned out to be 2. I loved her dearly, closer to her than maybe my grandmothers. She always treated me and my sister like adults, even when we were small. She always made me feel important.
- She was a huge political activist, a very liberal democrat, and a lobbyist for women's rights. But she never had a drivers license and relied on others to allow her that particular freedom.
- She was very image conscious, but never went to the dentist. Her teeth, one by one, rotted and fell out.
- I have no idea how much money she and my uncle had, but I always thought they were millionaires. They would always buy us "prizes" and these could be anything from a prize in a gumball machine to a $200 toy. She rarely said no.
- She was the classiest woman in our family, always dressed to the nines, fabulous jewelry, makeup on, hair perfect--somewhat of a matriarch. But she could drink, smoke and curse with the dirtiest sailor you could find. One Mother's Day I remember (not too long ago), all she asked for is booze and she and my grandmother drank all day long.
- She and my uncle ran the second largest cemetery in Michigan but she will not be having a funeral--her instructions (which no one will argue with, even now).
- Eating ice cream
- Buying a toy for each of my kids, and a big stuffed lion for me
- Listening to jazz
- Drinking martinis