Every family has one. A beloved eccentric. Our family's was beloved, generous, kind, loving, determined, and at times exasperating. Our family had Aunt Kathy. She was a single lady of Irish roots whose gentlemen friends finally accepted her refusal to marry when she was in her 60's. Aunt Kathy did not drink alcohol but entered a contest on a cruise ship wearing a tiara fashioned of wine glasses. She won the prize!
Aunt Kathy stored the family silver in a hall closet and labeled the box "trains". She collected full sets on china on her trips to Europe and as her nieces prepared to marry they were offered their pick from her collection. My personal china affords service for 12.
Kathleen once drove down a runway at, the then under construction, O' Hare Airport in an effort to deliver travel documents to a departing client. Did I mention that she was a travel agent?
Aunt Kathy was always late for everything. Maybe she just tried to do too much, I don't know. She was late so often that my mother always told her that dinner would be 2 hours earlier than planned is hopes that she would be there when it was hot. The entire family always teased that she would be late for her own funeral.
After her death in Florida, a memorial service was held for Aunt Kathy at a convent in the Chicago area. As we sat in pews facing the center aisle, my uncle walked up to the altar about halfway through the service. He was carrying a small container. My cousin and I locked eyes across the aisle surpressing a serious attack of the giggles. Aunt Kathy WAS late to her own funeral!