I had a really witty and interesting post prepared about some of the unusual things that happened to us on our trip to Pennsylvania last week. Maybe I'll end up posting it sometime but for now I'm too sad about the death of my cousin last night.
Sandy is the cousin next above me in age. She was 67 years old on March 13. I just found out last week that she had finally decided to retire from her job as a Methodist pastor. She had given her notice and was to retire one month from now on July 1.
Her husband, Bud, asked her what it would take to get her to retire and she told him, a house. So, Bud went out and found a house that she liked and bought it. They moved in over the weekend. My Aunt Betts said that she slept in her house one night and the second night she went to bed and died. Isn't that sad?
Sandy and I weren't born cousins. I became a part of the family at the age of 9 when my mom married my dad (he was NEVER my step-dad). We lived on the same street. Sandy was raised by her single mother, who I loved dearly.
I'm not sure, in spite of all the time we spent together, that we were ever friends. We were close because we were cousins, but we were so very different. We did have some fun times together though. One thing we shared in common was the dislike of having to sit in the kitchen with the younger kids when we had family dinners. There were so many in our extended family that no house could seat everyone in the dining room. So Sandy and I , quite a bit older than the others, were sent to the kitchen with the little kids. I don't remember exactly when we graduated to the dining room, but I do remember we went together.
Sandy taught me to play canasta and took great pleasure in beating me. Of course, I think I might have taken even greater pleasure when I beat her. She and my future sister-in-law, Bonnie and another neighborhood girl played canasta almost every day during school vacations.
Sandy was an accomplished pianist. Every month she received the music to the current hit parade tunes and she would play the tunes and the rest of us would gather around the piano and sing our hearts out.
There was no library in our town. That was a disaster for us because we both loved to read. We each got $1 per week for allowance. On payday weeks, we would go to the nearby town where our parents banked and shopped. We would each buy two books, then we would share them with one another. The adventures of Trixie Belden, Ginny Gordon, Nancy Drew, et al, got us through many a rainy day.
I was maid of honor in Sandy's wedding when she married Bud all those many years ago. When I got married, Sandy played the organ. As the years have gone by, we have seen less and less of each other. The last three or four times I've seen her were at funerals. We would say the usual things and ask after each other's children, but that was all.
And now I have to go to her little Methodist church in Pennsylvania and say good-bye. Even though we haven't stayed in touch all these years, I'll miss having her in this world.