hot pants and i are saddened to report the passing of our great aunt lily. she was the last link in the generation of our grandparents, which now places our mother in the front lines as the oldest of the shapiro clan. yikes.
auntie lil was a sweetheart who loved her soap operas and maintaing her living room furniture in clear plastic covers. knowing her days were dwindling, hot pants and i loaded sassafrass and mother dearest into the car for an estrogen fueled pilgrimmage to lil’s nursing home while i was visiting nyc. mah cleverly had managed to fall down in her building lobby while walking with a cane the night before, so she was strictly backseat cargo with her leg raised and chilled. sassafrass is a lifelong motion sickness sufferer who so far has declined to obtain a driver’s license. “i’d rather be driven,” she announced as a teenager. yeah, who wouldn’t? so, hot pants and i slipped into thelma and louise mode and leadfooted it up to framingham, massachusetts.
when autie lil first spied our motley group assembled around her bedside, she asked, “what’s wrong? am i dying?” confusing me, her california niece, with her granddaughter from nevada, she asked me, “what’s this i hear you’re getting a divorce?” i assured her the lord & master and i cannot afford to divorce; we’re in it ’til death us does part. always up for an adventure, she sat up, slapped on a wig, with a jewelled barrette no less, and had herself wheeled into a sun room for an afternoon of remembering good times, listening to mah play the piano, and taking pictures.
now, hot pants is endlessly photogenic, so the shots are her are fantastic. and mah’s sis, auntie sandra, is a former model who instinctively knows how to tilt her head and hips the moment a camera comes her way. sassafrass usually looks magnificent on film, but maybe she was still woozy from the car trip. mother and i brought up the rear. i, as usual, resembled jack klugman. no matter how good i think i look in the mirror, the pictures tell another, alarming story. mah went so far as to cut her head out of her copies of the pictures.
the truly amazing thing is that great aunt lily truly looks great – bright eyed and beautiful in every shot. we will cherish that visit for the rest of our days. we hope she was as happy to be surprised by us as we were to share the day with her.