My mother decided in high school that she would name her first born daughter after her best friend. (Despite the fact that her friend wasn't that crazy about the name herself) Amusingly enough, she & her mother were present for my birth while my dad remained at work and dropped by the hospital after his shift. They'd come to visit mom, who had moved to NC by then, and I decided to make an early appearance.
I didn't meet Aunt P again until I was an obnoxious teeneager and we'd traveled to Iowa for their class reunion. She & her mom had moved to New Mexico, where they were teachers, and she had recently gotten married. She never had children of her own (lots of fur kids though, and she wound up playing mother to several of her students over the years) and laughingly declined Mom's (halfway) joking offer to hand me over. I liked her a lot, despite my teenage drama.
Mom has told me so many stories that I feel like I knew her as well as she did. The name seems to have been a mixed blessing- we were an awful lot alike. I say were, because my hell-raising, fire-breathing namesake passed away this morning. She had developed some serious health conditions over the last few years and made the decision to stop receiving treatment for them this week once the doctors told her that she was too weak to survive the liver transplant surgery she needed. She was tired of living in pain and hated having to depend on others for her care...much like I would be in the same situation.
Aunt P is being cremated and there won't be a funeral. She asked for her ashes to be put with her mother's until they could both be taken to Iowa and buried with her father. I imagine Mom & I will go for that, whenever her husband decides to do it. Mom seems to be taking this better than I am, oddly enough.
I'll share some of the stories about Aunt P & my mom some time in an upcoming post. Right now I'm a little too numb to remember any.