Family – the ties that bind us together

As I write this, my mom and step-dad are waiting for the call that will take them to Virginia one last time.  Miss Hazel, the 89-year-old curmudgeon with whom my mom lived during her teenage years, is peacefully slipping away from this life to the next.

Miss Hazel liked fine clothing and dressed for church in 3″ heels until well into her 80’s.  She did a lot of charity work during her life, but her sharp tongue alienated many of her friends.  Thanks to her stubborn, independent streak, she resisted moving to a senior center until three years ago.  I hope I’m able to live on my own until I’m that old.

Mom made the pilgrimage twice a year to visit Miss Hazel and always had to steel herself before each visit.  Sometimes she came back very upset because of something Miss Hazel had said during their time together.  I never really understood why she continued to go when it was obvious Miss Hazel didn’t appreciate the time and effort it took to go see her.  Mom explained that she had promised Miss Hazel’s deceased husband, Mr. Ray, that she would continue to check on Miss Hazel after he passed away.  Mom said she never dreamed the promise would last 25 years.

Mom and my step-dad went to Virginia last week because they received a call that death was imminent.  When it appeared Miss Hazel would recover, everyone returned home.  Mom relayed that on her way out of town she stopped by the cemetery to visit Mr. Ray and advise that he’d better get his affairs in order because Miss Hazel would be joining him soon.

Rest in peace, Miss Hazel.

Update:  She passed away Monday afternoon.  Even in death, she continues to stir the pot and elicit  hurt feelings among family and friends.  I wish my mom would turn the car around head home.  Thankfully, she has no more reason to ever visit that group of folks again.