Earlier today I found out that my mother’s wonderful cousin and friend for life, Bitsy, passed away. I can’t claim to have been extraordinarily close to her myself, but I remember her well and always enjoyed her company.
Her life never struck me as an easy one, but she was always cheerful, and probably much nicer to me than I ever deserved. When I was a kid, Bitsy would bring her mother, my grandmother’s sister, and her brother, and her sons to visit when we would go to my grandmother’s house on vacation. Her mother had dementia, her brother had suffered a devastating head injury, and her sons and I did not get along. They were not my favorite people to see.
She took care of all of them just because she loved them and could take care of them. I can’t remember ever hearing her complain. I did. I complained a lot about her mother and her brother and having to even see them. I hope that it was never in her hearing.
Later on, when I moved in with my mother after divorce, she would visit my mother, and I always loved her visits. Cheerful, bright, always sparkling, she loved my wild boys, and I could see why my mother had always been friends with her. She was fearless, just like my mother. I could picture her running wild through the woods of Bohemia, and taking up the dares I’m sure my mother threw at her.
The last years of her life were apparently spent in great pain, which saddens me terribly. She deserved the best in life, and maybe, through all her hardships, she got it. She passed away surrounded by family, and was loved even by those who barely knew her. That surely matters more than having an easy life.