It's been a year of passages for my family. This past weekend we said goodbye to my Aunt Ida, who was healthy for almost all but the last couple weeks of her 95 years. Uncle Mas, Aunt Ida, Norman, and Kay lived not too far from us in Downey (my Uncle Easy's place was on the way). Because of the proximity, I ended up visiting them pretty often. Auntie was always very welcoming.
One amusing memory I have is whenI was there after dinner one night. Auntie knew my nerdish tendencies. She was a teacher, and happened to have some math worksheets which she handed to me to go through. I could see her sneaking glances over at me as I did the problems. As I got older, it seemed Auntie was determined to hook me up with a "nice, Japanese girl" even to the point of saying that she knew of a couple of sisters who were going to be at Stanford when I was there. Yes, she was partly trying to play the matchmaker, but she also knew I was stubborn enough to do my own thing anyway.
As I mentioned, my aunt was a teacher. While she was a substitute in the Downey school district, she never ended substituting for a class I was in. She also taught at MacLaren Hall, where her non-nonsense nature held her in good stead.
After I left for college, I didn't see as much of my aunt, but for the past several years my Aunt Haru has asked us to drop off some mochi for Aunt Ida. That gave Melody and me a chance to chat with her and catch up. Her memory was still great and I'm glad Melody got a chance to get to know her.
Auntie's funeral was a graveside service, but unfortunately the rain didn't let up. Norman said it was her way of reminding everyone to keep the service short. Even so, we all got our chance to say farewell to my aunt from the other side of town.