My mother's youngest sister turns 84 May 13. Irene is another one of those "out west" relatives I never got to know real well until the last few years. I have only one memory of her in my youth. This is when I went to Washington to see all the relatives in 1960. I remember sitting close to my mother in Irene's home. I was very shy. And I felt very intimidated by my "city" girl cousins. While mom and Irene visited, I watched Kandy come through the door and head "somewhere". Kandy - I had never heard a name like that before. And I briefly saw Karen, who is almost exactly my age. But she seemed so mature and sure of herself. Then there was little Kay Kay. Again, who ever heard of calling a girl Kay Kay? My best friend back home was just Kay. I remember Kay Kay being very cute. If John was born by then, I don't remember him at all. After I went back home I named my dolls Kandy, Karen and Kay Kay. I still have Kay Kay.
What fun it has been getting to know all these people as adults. I'm so glad I saw Melvin a few times before he died. And I've gotten to know Kandy, Karen, Kay and John. And Irene. Irene who is so slender and so active. She certainly does not look like she is 84. A couple months ago I had the pleasure of sitting beside her as we all went to Duke's for lunch. We talked a lot and laughed a lot. Irene comes out with the most unexpected statements that are so funny!
I know Irene is having a difficult time now. She has experienced a lot of losses lately and it is difficult to deal with. I know she is feeling lonely. I hope her birthday is a very good and positive day. I hope it is a day where we all take time to be thankful for the special people who have touched our lives. Happy Birthday, Aunt Irene! I wish we lived closer together so we could see each other more often. Have a very good day!