Tuesday, May 10, 2011

In Which The World Moves Too Quickly

Connor had his first loose tooth this afternoon. 

For some reason this hit me hard.  I think it's easy for me to think of Connor as younger than he really is because he doesn't develop at the same pace as most kids his age.  He's much smaller than them for one thing; more the size of a three or four year old.  And he changes very slowly.  But in this one little way he's right on track, and I can't deny the fact that he's really not a baby or even a toddler any more.  He's growing up. 

So I called my mother to let her know, and learned that my Aunt Pat passed away today.

Aunt Pat was the oldest of my mother's siblings; she was born in 1935 towards the end of the Great Depression.  Her health had been poor for some time, but her death was unexpected.  In recent years when we would chat, she and I would commiserate about how awkward it was to haul around oxygen tanks and about the difficulty of finding handicapped spaces on busy days at the grocery store.  I never heard her complain about how she was feeling, though-- she always claimed she was "getting on all right." 

A tiny woman, she always teased me about how tall I was, and whenever she'd see me and my cousin Merritt together she'd call us "a couple of string beans."  Because we lived so far from each other, I only saw her every few years-- the last time at my sister's wedding in 2009-- but we spoke over the phone much more often.  She liked to call me her "darlin' girl," and she always had a smile for me and a question about how "little Connor" was getting on.

For the second time today I was taken aback by how time marches on whether or not one is paying attention to it.  Aunt Pat was a remarkable woman.  And she was solid, dependable.  She was always there when I needed her, a phone call away, ready with a kind word and an open heart.  A world without her seems hard to fathom.  I wish I could have called to tell her about Connor's loose tooth, and about how he's growing up too quickly.  I'm not sure what she would have said, but I'm sure it would have made me laugh. 

Here's to you, Aunt Pat.  May the road rise to meet you.




Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry

Julia said...

Well put. People keep moving through the life cycle, and time slows for no one. I'm glad you had such a wonderful person in your life, and I'm sorry for the loss.

Julia O'C said...

I'm so sorry about your Aunt Pat.

krlr said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.

I think of my daughter as being younger too - she's almost 3 but non verbal. I still call both my kids baby but think I shouldn't w/her - too much stigma w/infantilizing kids w/SN? Then I think I should stop over thinking it & give her a big smoochy kiss.

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