My cousin phoned early the next day to invite Miss Cathy and I out to breakfast.
Neither of us acknowledged that strange sensation of hearing someone’s voice that you knew as a child but was never introduced to as an adult so we both feigned familiarity.
I thought the ‘plans’ (such as they were) was for them to come visit us at home. I’d stocked the fridge with food for breakfast, lunch or a light supper since I was never told when they would arrive.
I insisted that they come to us from their hotel nearby whenever they were ready.
Over my relative’s many objections when I said that I would cook for them he finally relented and I made sure he had the address.
I thanked him and said that they would be doing me a favor. Because of mom’s condition it would take a lot of effort and energy for her to navigate the crowds, noise and unfamiliar surroundings if we had to venture out to meet them in a restaurant-especially on a Saturday.
It seemed no sooner had I hung up the phone and started to prep in the kitchen that I heard a knock.
I’d expected to greet a gaggle of people that might resemble me in some fashion but there was only one person at the door, Aunt Dorothy.
My mother’s favorite sister in law and possibly my favorite aunt stood there, smiling up at me with open arms welcoming me into her embrace. As I leaned down to hug here I was amazed at how is it that a relative can loom large in our childhood mind’s eye of remembrance which is in stark contrast to the reality of the diminutive elderly relative standing before the adult me.
As I hugged here I saw my cousin’s wife, (whom I’d never met) and cousin walking up behind her explaining that they’d sent Aunt Dorothy inside while they parked the car.
Hearing the frackus of introductions and hugs in the hallway Miss Cathy toddled up to join in the hootin’ and hollerin’.
She’d waited a long time for a family reunion of any kind so it was nice to see her swallowed up in their embrace.
I’m sure to Miss Cathy that even as she invited them into her home it felt a little more like home, surrounded as she was by her kinfolk; their smiles, their touch, and their speech with it’s familiar southern singsong that must have been music to mom’s ears.