Monday morning my sister called me while I was at work to tell me our Aunt Cathy (my mother's sister) had passed away. It was a shock to us all. My mom's youngest brother had passed away suddenly 3 years ago so I knew this was going to be especially hard for my mother - having to bury another sibling.
My sister didn't cry when she told me the news and I didn't either. I hadn't seen my aunt in 25 years. Growing up - she was the aunt that we saw every couple of years. She lived in Los Angeles and rarely came to Seattle. I always remember her as being tall and thin with long hair. Even her full name was exotic to me - Catalina. She was beautiful and as a teenager I wanted to be like her. Growing up my mom always said I reminded her so much of her sister Cathy which I took as a compliment.
About 15 years ago Auntie Cathy had a brain aneurysm. Her health never returned to 100%, she lost her husband and she had trouble with her son. I had lost direct contact with her by then. I was living on the East Coast, married with 2 young children & working full-time. But those are just excuses for not staying in touch with her.
I used to be so good at staying in touch with friends and loved ones before the internet. I would call, write letters, send cards. Then I got a little savvy and started a blog dedicated to the kids happenings so my mom could keep up long-distance. Now with technology I spend more time facebooking and texting - which definitely aren't very personal means of communicating. Perhaps after we get the thank you cards written for our wedding I'll go back to that more personal touch and write and call friends and family from time to time.