August 23rd, 2009

sad, greensad

Aunt Joan

Mama called me about an hour ago to tell me that her oldest sister, my Aunt Joan, died today. She was my Quilter Aunt.

I did not know her all that well, as she lived in Pennsylvania and I lived in Alaska, and there were only a few trips to her end of the country. When Ampom died and I was too young to remember much except the things there are pictures for (my cousins' game dice -- I remembered them as just bits of colored plastic until I saw a photo later; the long strip of pale pink fabric that SCA Aunt had been winding up; the lovely dress that my sister had that matched Mama's shirt). In 5th grade when we had been to visit Grandma and GrandFatherSir, and then went to see Aunt Joan, and we rented a minivan and drove all over, and Dad talked with my uncle about building a launcher-apparatus to return dog poop in the yard to the sender, and I was desperately trying to curl my hair at that point in time so there are all these Awkward Hair Photos, and the shirt that I thought was terribly cool even if no one else did.

My aunt had a blueberry bush in her back yard, and that was exciting. We made tents from some of her fabric on the clotheslines. She had a little, ancient dog.

I visited her for a week before CTY '95. We went to fabric stores and had fun.

I was named for her.

It happened by accident, sort of. They were going to name me Laurel Ann, but then I came out and they decided that I was not a Laurel. So I was Joanie Laurel from then on. (Joan is still for paperwork, despite the way my best friend does insist on calling me that, when he calls me anything.)

I'm not good at staying in touch. I'm not even good at staying in touch with my parents. (I stay somewhat in touch with you guys because you guys read me here, and this is where I say things.)

I liked her. It's good when you have relatives and you like them.

She had started to decline perhaps even as soon as 10 years ago. She was about 10 years older than Mama. She had started to lose her mind. Mama said that she had been in between the hospital and the nursing home this week, with her husband at her side. He was with her when she died. This week one of her sons and his wife had a baby. (Another baby?)

I feel sure that she died with the most fabric. ♥

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