When I was around eleven, I took a trip to Colorado with two of my younger sisters, and my cousin Kaycee. We went all by ourselves to visit our Great-Aunt Nancy, who lived alone in Highlands Ranch. Aunt Nancy, my grandpa's sister, took us all around Colorado. We went to the Sugarwater Festival and saw Queen Latifah, we went shopping and she gave us each a hundred dollar bill to spend, we went to the red rock amphitheater and Georgetown too. Great-Aunt Nancy never forgot our birthdays, and always sent Target gift cards every Christmas.When she got back from one of her adventures to Thailand or West Africa or India she would always bring back presents. Last year, she called to ask my mom what I wanted most out of all the things I'd registered for. She bought me a set of China, my beautiful beautiful China that I treasure so much I nearly had a heart attack when we moved it here a few weeks ago.
I sent a round of Thank-You notes for my wedding, but I know I missed a lot of people ( sorry if you're one of them :( ). I found a whole bunch of now-yellowed envelopes stuffed hastily in a drawer at my parents house this summer. Now I am wracking my brain to remember if Aunt Nancy got a Thank You. Did she know? Did she know how much it meant to me that she was one of the four who knew I wanted china the most then lovely had it sent my way? Does she know that over these years I have thought of her often, that I treasure the memories of that long-ago Colorado trip?
I am terrified to think that she didn't know, didn't feel loved or appreciated by me. I wrote her countless little notes-started them at least, thought of calling her all the time. Most recently, I thought of calling to see how she felt about that Batman shooting. The thing is, when someone gets to the point in their life where they pass on from this world, you realize just how much procrastination can hurt. Hurt you, hurt your Aunt Nancy.
My Dad is flying out to Colorado with my Grandpa to finally pay that visit. I am touched that my Grandpa , who has had trouble traveling lately is willing to go through a certain amount of indignity in order to say his goodbyes to his sister. I am sad to know that my Aunt Nancy is going. I mourn her death, but mostly I mourn the loss of an opportunity to send her that nice note, to show her how much I love her. I know that this life is just one of many travel destinations for my Aunt Nancy, but somehow I wish I were able to reach her where she is going next.