I have done it again. I'm mad at myself for once again not following up on a chance to let somebody know that I was thinking about them.
My dad's first cousin, Libba, passed away yesterday at the age of 86. She had taken a bad fall earlier in the week and I knew that the outlook for her was probably not so good. I did go out and get a card to send to her as soon as I heard about her fall. I filled it out, signed it, put her name on the envelope and had every intention of looking her address up, getting a stamp and putting the card in the mail. It's not like I've been extra busy now that I have plenty of time during the day.
This is not a relative that I was very close to, in terms of communicating regularly or being close to her when I was growing up. In fact, the first time I remember meeting Libba and her wonderful husband, Frank, was at Dad's memorial service in 1992. I was so touched at the time that they drove up from their home in Chattanooga and they were just the nicest, warmest people. I instantly felt bonded to them.
Libba's father and my grandfather were brothers. They were very, very close. They suffered through a difficult childhood with an abusive father and up until they were old men and as long as they were able to, they made regular visits, in spite of the many miles between Chattanooga, TN and San Antonio, Texas. They were tight. They made a pact that whoever died first would go to the other's grave and "christen" it. Use your imagination as to what that meant. My grandfather followed up on that pact after Uncle Homah died in 1973.
I think the closeness between the brothers and the immense love those two had for each other is what made me feel like I knew Libba and the times I was able to visit with her were very special moments. I had the same experience the first time I met her daughters. Their personalities, sense of humor were just like the girls in my family. It had to be cause of the Brothers. Had to be.
I wish I could've spent more time with Libba. I last saw her two summers ago. She was the epitome of what one would think a lady would be. She had four wonderful children, all extremely succesful people (one son was a dentist for one of the President's even), a number of grandkids (also high achivers). Her husband, Frank, is one I will one day do a post about. He was a Prisoner of War during World War II for several years and his escape was something that would make a killer movie. Great people.
Just another reminder to follow up on those stirrings and not let them slide.