A phone call to the house yesterday afternoon was the herald of bad news: my aunt Marguerite passed away a few days ago.
It was something of a shock, to be honest. I knew she had been in-and-out of hospital for a couple of years, but it was never anything too serious; I had no idea she was quite that ill.
We hadn’t been in regular contact since the summer of 2001, when I last saw her in person. I put that down to the fact that we were both bad letter-writers; even so I feel guilty for not having done more to keep in touch.
I did send her a card at Christmas, though, to wish her the best, and let her know that things were going well for me. I wrote that I would send a proper letter in the new year, a big ol’ yarn to fill in the blanks. There was a lot I wanted to tell her: all about Benitha, and the great time I had in South Africa last year, and the better times we have planned for the future…
I’d like to think that Marguerite’s up there somewhere, that she knows everything I wanted to say, and that it makes her smile to see how happy I am. She was the only one on that side of the family that I was ever close with, besides my grandfather. Maybe she felt bad about that, I don’t know for sure, but she shouldn’t have; it was her caring that counted. She was good to me, and I will always appreciate that.