Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Ugly Sisters

I'm on the left, trying not to look my usual frowny-faced self; Karen is in the middle (doesn't she look evil? I'm sure she's up to something); and Joan, the baby, is on her way back to Kelowna.


A phone call from a cousin today shared the sad news that my great-aunt, Irene, died last night of what was probably a massive heart attack. It seems to run in the Engdahl family (that's Dad's mom's side), as this is the way a good many of them have left us: among them Dad's mom, who died suddenly at age 47; her sister, Aunt Ingrid; and the list goes on for some distance. Dad himself came close to having a heart attack in his early fifties; he had an angioplasty in the nick of time, 17 years ago. It's no wonder Mom started urging me to "Get your heart checked" the minute I turned 40.

So there will be another sad family get-together in a week or so. I'm glad I got to see, talk with and hug Aunt Irene just weeks ago, after [her brother] Uncle Walfrid's funeral. Right now I'm mostly feeling for my cousin Mavis, who will be devastated at the loss of her mother. It will be a terrible shock. Auntie Irene was in her early eighties, but she was sharp, spry, and healthy as far as we knew.

I phoned Dad with the news. "The family has lost a comedian," was one remark he made.