Jean McCallen Edwards, my aunt by marriage to my father's brother Pickett, died last week. She was 93. Pickett passed away this June. Wednesday I will help carry her to rest beside him. Jean was a remarkable woman, worthy of more than a short blog post. If you are interested here is a link to a more complete obit.
I remember the outsider from up north who fit in with the Edwardses of Cohoke better than she knew. I remember the active, optimistic woman who was always fun to be around. I remember her toleration and amusement at my childhood misadventures when my parents reacted (as befitted their role) with sterner stuff. She and Pickett formed a solid cornerstone to my extended family. They were good people who were fortunate to live long, good lives. I will not let myself feel sad when I think of them. But I'll be damned if I won't miss them.
In the photo, taken I believe Christmas 1947 at Riverview, Jean is standing behind my grandmother's right shoulder, next to my mother. I am the little bugger on my grandfather's (the Bossman) lap, as ever just a few degrees short of vertical. Aunt Sallie, my father's only sister, and her husband Charlie are on the far left. That's Sallie's son, Cousin Bill, on grandmother's lap. Uncle Winston, daddy's oldest brother and wife Zady are on the right. Pickett is peeking out behind Jean; my father smiles beside mother.
What I would give now for a few hours of conversation with each of them, as I recently had for the first time in about 50 years with Cousin Bill. Time, it seems, is really about all we have.