Aunt Mary was a bit compulsive when it came to buying knick knacks, which meant she saw Christmas and birthdays as an excuse to deplete her inventory. Dementia and I tended to pick up the things that were just too strange for anyone else, and we pretty much unfailingly appreciated the things she gave us. She was also a bibliophile, and the person I called in 1973 when I finally got around to reading "The Hobbit" and wanted to lay my hands on a copy of "The Lord of the Rings" NOW. She had the books, in hardcover, and they were in my hands the next day.
On Monday night my brother Pete called to say that he and his wife had been at Aunt Mary's house, helping her clean out her house in preparation to a move into the same facility my parents had moved into on Friday. He said that she would love to see me, when I got a chance, and that she could use a LOT more help in the moving process. I acknowledged that I had been neglecting Aunt Mary, and would have to visit soon. And that night she died.
I am no stranger to death, or even to unexpected death. I am not accustomed to losing someone when I cannot say with confidence that she KNEW just how important she was to me.
It's going to be a long week...