I was sitting at my desk, determined to knock out my “Must Do” list when I received a phone call, “Helloooo”. The soft lift on the drawn out ending is familiar to my ear but even more so to my heart. My Auntie is missing me. She does not demand attention, she does not pout it out. She picks up the phone and gently nudges me in her direction.
A man has passed and she wants to know if I am coming to the service tomorrow. I don’t know this man but I recognize his last name. Auntie is the keeper of the records at Headquarters Cemetery and she is letting me know that Sid will be buried in the family place. Now I am tuned in, Auntie needs something, wants something from me. I know this dance well, she wants me to ride along.
She arrives at my office and gently hands me the keys. I settle into the driver’s seat and take my time, there is no hurry in her step. I lower the window as she would like a little air. She talks softly of the things that matter. She has fallen into a place of remembrance, my age and place in the two generations after her have erased for this moment and I don’t remind her. She references our grandmother as if I knew her and I take her hand and hold the place in her mind that has been vacated by loss, cloaked in time.
(My Great Aunt lives on The Round Valley Indian Reservation. She is 88 years young and the elder of our extended family. The last of her generation. I am blessed to ride along.)