It is a truth universally known, that early morning phone calls are always to be mistrusted. For whatever unexplainable karmic reason, good news will come to you during the day. But that phone call or text message or pager that you get in the wee hours of the morning - that will always, always be helped along by an ill wind. And so, when my phone rang at 10:43 am today and caller ID said "home", I knew that picking up the call would definitely put a damper on my day.
It was my mum, calling to tell me that my dad's aunt had passed away. She was the last of her generation on my paternal grandmother's side of the family. I never knew my own grandmother as she had succumbed to ovarian cancer much before I was born. I am named for her and I share her passion for music and her talent for dance. Aunty Eye was her younger sister and almost everything I know about my grandmother came from her; but even after hearing all the stories, I feel there was so much more I could have learned, so many more questions I could have asked.
And that's what troubles me the most. As each grandparent, great aunt and grand uncle passes away, there are fewer and fewer voices that can reach back and decode the mysteries of the past. Suddenly it feels like a race against the passage of time and already I know that I am falling further and further behind. But, I wonder, is the sense of this loss a sorrow for their mortality, or is it that I know that I am just another step closer to mine?