When I was down in Sarasota last month, it was just me. It was supposed to be my mom and dad, too, but after her shoulder surgery, Shelley couldn’t make it down. I was sad to miss them — my parents are kind of the best — but it did present a very rare treat: my grandma and great-aunt all to myself for a long weekend (which, grandma being grandma, was not long enough in her book, nope not at all).
When I went with them to their Unitarian church service on Sunday the sweetest thing happened.
"This is my grand-niece, Nora," Mira would say as introduction.
"Well — this is my grand-daughter, Nora,” Grandma interjected, maybe a little louder than necessary.
What is it about big sisters? Always gotta one-up. ;)
Joking aside, it made me really proud that they were both proud to introduce me to their friends — maybe even show me off a little??
Here’s another thing about these two.
Over the past several years, they have suffered the deaths of their husbands and the deaths of friends. Their health is not what it used to be; they don’t enjoy the beach as much as they used to; they get tired in the afternoons and yet have a hard time sleeping at night (“everyone does,” they say).
But — they have each other. They live just a mile or so apart and see each other nearly every day, and I cannot imagine a better way to retire than that.
If I have my sisters — my biological sister and, hopefully, the sisters in my familia putativa (our dream is to retire to New Orleans’ Garden District) — nearby, if I have grandkids to come visit, even if it’s just for a long weekend, I will know I am still living the good life.
Aches and pains and all.