Late Sunday night I received horrible news. My mom finally reached me. Before that several of my dad's brothers and sisters and a nephew had contacted him with the tragedy. Finally the news had reached me. Somehow I had to compose myself to tell my own family. A small plane had crashed. Two of my dad's sisters, my aunts, had died. The one aunt who died, with whom I was closest, also died with her grandson. His father, a first responder, was on the ground when the plane crashed and pulled out his brother, another first responder. Those two boys, the first responders, were my aunt's sons. This cousin is currently in the burn unit in critical condition. Time stopped. I can only imagine what the immediate family is going through. Please pray.
This aunt came to our house all the time while I was growing up. I'm such a quiet sort that I'm not always noticed but this aunt always engaged me! From the time she was a teenager when I remember my mom sewing a red and white polka dot dress for her, I remember her coming for a visit to see Hemisfair with us. Later she came for visits with her own family and little boys. Mom was saying she can still remember my aunt in the kitchen. That scene became so vivid that I started crying again. I remember a picture of her visiting during my dad's birthday and she is watching the cake being cut. You could see the anticipation on her face. I remember sitting at the dinner table one night and finding out she wasn't particularly fond of onions! I remember she sent many of the boys school papers to us in the mail. She knew I was training to become a teacher and I always enjoyed the artwork the boys drew on their spelling sheets! I remember she wanted to come to my wedding, then couldn't...then there she was! My mom picked her up after the rehearsal dinner and the next morning there was my aunt drinking coffee at the breakfast table. We talked and talked and talked like sisters until my mom reminded me I had a wedding to prepare for. Even though she was my aunt, I guess I felt like she was the sister I never had. I'm going to miss her so much. I remember the last time I saw her in San Antonio she went through all the family photos with me telling me every single detail with great enjoyment and giving me a handful to keep, which I later left with my mom for safekeeping since I was moving to Virginia.
The family of siblings of which she and dad are a part is huge and my dad is the oldest. I was only a few years younger than the youngest. When we first moved to Texas I wasn't even in school yet so my memory is mostly pictures in my mind. I remember going down to visit when we first moved to Texas and being an only child at the time being amazed at the prodigious family! It was from them that I got my first dog, a dachshund they had named Duke. They had his brother whom they had named Baron. They'd pal around or sleep together on family visits. I remember my other aunt who died from these visits. I remember going down to the beach with my parents and her and her sisters. I remember going down to redecorate the girls' bedroom.
And now there is a new generation...and many prayers as we pray my cousin through his surgeries and recovery...and as we pray for his own family and all of the extended family.