We got back from Tarpon Springs today. We ostensibly went back for an Atkinson family reunion of sorts and to celebrate Will and Margie’s lives. We did meet with a few Atkinson’s and we did talk about Will and Margie. However, the overriding, unspoken conversation was the decline and approaching death of Beth. She is my wife’s senior cousin of thirteen years. We have had contact with her many times over the last couple of decades and have shared trials and joys with her. Mostly, the trials she owned and we owned the joys.
I am happy that Beth can do most of whatever she wants at the end of her life and that she has chosen to travel. I am also honored that she has wanted to travel with us or a sub-group of us. I actually thought N might have gone on with Beth on the P.R. leg of the trip but N decided not to, in the end.
Their family reminds me of Ellen Gilchrist novels: Kentucky, not too rich but rich, creative, not judgmental, willing to take risks, drinkers, followers of their bliss but often not finding it, and silently agreeing that we are worm meat when we die.