Go ahead, make a wish.

8 Apr
NOT my aunt.

NOT my aunt.

I was largely offline this last week because I was in Florida with my family for my aunt’s 85th birthday. She’s a rockstar.

We celebrated her big day over a large lunch on Easter. Sitting at the table together, we saw an ambulance pass through the parking lot of her complex, followed by two police cars. “What’s going on?” someone asked.

“Meat wagon,” my cousin (her son) responded.

“Huh?” I was confused.

“You’re in a senior community. People drop like flies around here. One a week,” he explained between bites of honey-baked ham.

My sister and I exchanged an uneasy look. Um, isn’t it a bit awkward to talk about death when the reason we’re together is to mark someone’s advanced age? 

The meal continued and mercifully, the topic changed. Until we got to dessert.

Just as my aunt prepared to blow out her candles, her partner (who had run over to their other place to fetch ice cream from their other condo) came through the door and said, “Guess what?”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I usually expect those words (especially when uttered at a birthday party) to introduce an exciting/surprising/generally positive follow-up statement.

So we all looked up in anticipation. “The ambulance?” he continued, gesturing over his shoulder to a unit down the way, “It was here for Karen. Turns out she died last night.”

Awkward silence.

Followed by blowing out the candles.

Pretty sure we can all guess Auntie Fran’s wish.

Image Source: http://www.nomorefriends.net/

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7 Responses to “Go ahead, make a wish.”

  1. dianeskitchentable April 8, 2013 at 8:11 am #

    It’s nice that they have entertainment in her senior community. Some places are dull.

    • Alison April 8, 2013 at 8:25 am #

      I guess I just wouldn’t want to be the featured performer in this instance.

  2. Alicia April 8, 2013 at 8:14 am #

    This is NOT where I thought the story was going…you missed the best part. 😉

    • Alison April 8, 2013 at 8:24 am #

      That is for the Sequel. We’re on the installment plan here.

  3. skippingstones April 8, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

    I was at my cousin’s funeral today and we were talking about how much harder it gets for us to accept these things as we get older. Then my uncle commented that his sister, the deceased’s grandmother and in her 80’s, seems to take each one more in stride. I think how we perceive and accept the inevitability of death must swing like a pendulum. Anyway, I’m no where near the “Karen’s dead…let’s eat!” stage, lol.

    • Alison April 10, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

      I think you’re right. I think there’s something to be said for looking back, feeling you’ve had a good run, and coming to peace with the fact that we are all only temporary inhabitants. It’s probably also comforting to know that you’ve made an impression that will outlive you… which can occur by living a long time, or – alternatively – by showing up for work periodically without pants on. Nothing’s guaranteed, so I know which option I’ll be taking.

      • skippingstones April 11, 2013 at 9:33 am #

        😀 You always make me laugh! I hope we’re blogging into old age, but if you go first I thought you should know that you’ve definitely left a lasting impression.

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