“Walk in the light while there is light.”
– Leo Tolstoy
Aunt Carmen died today; just days shy her ninety-seventh year. A matriarch and a beacon of grace remembered fondly for her dry, sly sense of humor.
When I was ten years old, Aunt Carmen, cousin Jimmy, my mother and I traveled by bus to Queens New York to the optimistic nineteen sixty-four Worlds Fair, a universal and international exposition, with the theme, “Peace Through Understanding”, and dedicated to, ”Man’s Achievement on a Shrinking Globe in an Expanding Universe”. We visited many exhibits; The famous Unisphere, a twelve story stainless steel model of the earth, but the one that remains foremost in my mind is the amphibious car, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXlmkve3Q7A, that Jimmy and I tested the attributes of as Aunt Carmen, like a rock, stood waiting on the shore.
I visited Aunt Carmen many times at her homestead on number ten road. One time, while standing in the driveway saying our goodbyes, Aunt Carmen quipped, “ Bobby, does that tan go all the way up?”, as she reached her fingers under the hem of my jogging shorts and lifted it to my waistband, (the tan went pretty far up).
Aunt Carmen was a special light in my life; her humor, her steadfastness, and her stoic independence a fine example: a radiance not extinguished, but a light free to fly throughout the universe.