My Great Aunt died yesterday. I guess it was cancer, but I don't think I will know for sure because our family will not be invited to the funeral. There was a long ago argument about property rights and after the settlement our side of the family never talked to the other side.

What is really sad is that she only lived a mile or two away, but I rarely visited her. Well, actually I was told NOT to visit her. Sometimes I would ride by on my bike and see her in the yard, trimming hedges or tending to rose bushes. I would give a half hearted wave and she would just stare. I don't think she knew who I was.

Now she is gone. And everything I know about her is colored by what my parents think and what they remember. People who didn't really know her, but think they did.

I'm not sure all of this would bother me except for the picture in the basement. I think my parents forgot about it. But there in the basement, under a big stack of Newsweeks, is this grainy black and white photo from a family reunion. Everyone is looking mature and serious except Aunt Doris. She was wearing one of those cheap fake nose-fake glasses sets from a novelty shop. It was so out of character; So different from the way our family usually acts.

I always wanted to ask her about that, and now I will never get to do it. Sad