April 24, 2010

Well, this is the day.

Today, in Trowbridge, Ontario, my family and family friends, will all be gathered for a memorial service to my Aunt Flossy. I wish more than anything, that I could be there, not just to remember my aunt, and speak my own words, but to see my family again after such a long time.

Some of these people, IMMEDIATE family included, I haven’t seen in 10 or more years! I did a great deal of moving in the past 10 years, taking me from Ontario to British Columbia, and then to Taiwan. During that time, phone numbers were lost, messages weren’t passed on, emails never got answered or delivered, mail was returned.

As my first blog talked about, I got back in touch with my family around the middle of February. By a fluke, or design (??), my cousin Mike had searched and found me on Facebook. Since then, there hasn’t been a day go by that I haven’t said at least, HELLO to someone in my ever-expanding family.

I’ve gotten to know a little about my ‘didi’ (little brother), Scott. I’ve gotten to understand a lot about my little sister, Robin. I’ve gained a new respect and understanding of my parents. I’ve even rekindled a few good times with cousins, 2nd cousins, aunts, uncles, friends, past co-workers and employers… again, many of whom I haven’t seen or heard from for a long time.

I must admit that it was a little overwhelming at first. Facebook and DEFINITELY the internet service providers in Taiwan AND Canada were definitely losing money! Messages upon messages have been sent back and forth, as if we were living next door to each other. The ‘overwhelming’ feeling has subsided, but it will still be a good day for me, when I get the chance to go back for a visit. I think I had better plan on a month’s holidays!!

One of the messaging marathons that occurred, was on March 31 (Taiwan day) when I got news from my father, that my ‘da goo-goo’ (I know, sounds silly, but Chinese way of saying “father’s older sister”) had passed away. It wasn’t as much of a shock to people, at least from my perspective, since they all knew what was happening, and had their chance to, as we say, say their goodbyes. Unfortunately, I didn’t have that opportunity.

Most of my family knows that it would have been almost impossible for me come home for this memorial service. I know that when I do come home for a visit, it will be an exciting time, not just for me, but for them as well. There will be visits to friends. There will be partying with relatives. There will be, I hope, good long chat sessions with my brothers and sisters. There will gallons of coffee consumed, litres of rum and rye. There will be some good home-cooked meals and some SUPER SUPER SWEET desserts!

To come home at this time, and I hope that everyone understands, is not for me. This memorial service is for my Aunt Flossy. I don’t want anything to overshadow this celebration of her life. I am not the focus of attention, and nor do I want to be at this time. This is a time for all my family and relatives, to remember Aunt Flossy.

I did ask Mike, Aunt Flossy’s youngest child and my cousin, if he would consider reading something from me. He seemed quite happy with that idea, and understood my position. It took me about a week or two of thoughtful writing. I did end up sending a rather lengthy email to him.

I don’t expect that he will have the time to read the whole thing. That would be not only crazy, but take away from what other people want to say. If I know my family as well now as I did 10 years ago, I know there will be a lot laughing, a lot of jokes, a lot of memories, a lot of hugs, kisses, and tears. And I know that, even though Aunt Flossy will not be with them in person, she will definitely be there in spirit. The hugs and kisses and tears, will all be good.

Each and every person in Trowbridge today, and the group of us who, for one reason or another, are unable to attend, have all been a part of Aunt Flossy’s life. Today, we all remember the life and times of a wife, sister, mother, aunt, grandmother, cousin, but above all else, a friend.

Yes, even though I am half-way around the earth, I too will shed a few tears. Tears of happiness in remembering. Never forgetting. In a very odd and strange way, I kind of feel okay about not having seen my aunt in the past year or so. I have seen the pictures of what cancer had done to her. The memories I have of my aunt, are the memories I hope each and every person will keep near and dear to them.

I will be waiting with bated breath, for the pictures, the movies, the blogs, the emails, telling me all about the service. And I will treasure each and every one of these. They will be my memorial service.

Aunt Flossy, have a wonderful and marvelous journey. And as I mentioned in my letter to you, keep the coffee hot and a deck of cards ready. One day, we will all be together again, playing euchre!

NB: With the permission of my relatives, I would like to be able to post some of your pictures of today on this blog.


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