Monday, December 22, 2008

RIP Jenny

I got a Christmas card from a second cousin, who told me that her sister Jenny died earlier this year. She'd had a host of health problems that were beyond the purview of 21st century medicine.

She and her husband Tony were married for about 43 years. I remember attending their wedding, thinking Jenny was the most beautiful woman I'd ever seen.

Not too long after the wedding, I heard gossip exchanged between my mother and Jenny's ... Tony didn't treat her well; they were "having problems." Our families weren't extremely close; we saw each other about once a year at most. It wasn't our family's way to make a big production out of our problems, so the truth of most situations rarely came to light; it just hung like a murky cloud on the horizon and could be forgotten by just looking away.

I saw Jenny at her sister's wedding, and then at mine, but don't remember even a little bit of conversation. I think I may have had those vague, undefined "problems" of theirs in my head and was worried about saying the wrong thing. Again, that's how our family was -- my mother identified me early on as someone who suffered from chronic foot-in-mouth disease, so when in doubt, I kept a distance. I think I still do that.

And yet...just like my parents, who stayed together for 48 years until Mom's passing, this couple hung in there, too. They had no children.

Jenny, I hardly knew ye.

1 comment:

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I'm so sorry to hear this.

It's sad the silences we all keep amongst our families too.