I finished college in July '94 and immediately left to go to graduate school in the USA.
Abuelita (Dad’s Mom), who had recently and of her own will moved into an old folks’ home where she had friends, told me “ah, I don’t know if I’ll see you ever again!” (She’d been living on her own, but with family nearby, for over 20 years; lately she’d been feeling dizzy and figured she’d rather be in “a place with doctors”)
I told her yes, we’d see each other in Christmas.
That Christmas, we met on January 4th, which is both my aunt’s Bday and the anniversary of Abuelito’s death. Lilbro and two other cousins were born the same year; she kept confusing all three (all were present, all are ash-blond and have the family’s color-changing light eyes); she also confused her sons (but always the ones who do look alike, they’re sort of paired). She kept asking the same questions and must have kissed me goodbye like 15 times.
That time I knew I wasn’t going to see her again.
She died February 25, Saturday, Feast of the “Anunciación” (not sure what it’s called in English, when the angel told Mary she was going to have a baby; Abuelita was very devout of Our Lady). The nuns noticed she wasn’t coming down for breakfast, went upstairs, found her lying on top of her already-made bed fully dressed in her best clothes, holding her rosary. She hadn’t been dead more than a few minutes.
I was sad that I’d never see her again, but glad that she’d been able to go the way she wanted, and even in a day she would be likely to choose. And unlike Abuelito, I have 20 years worth of memories of Abuelita.
As we say around here, “I share your feelings”.