My sister and I left early this morning for Pittsburg, driving to my aunt’s husband’s memorial service to represent the family and Mamacita, who couldn’t be here. Another sister and her husband drove down from New York, and my aunt’s two sons are here. The service was just right: a couple of hymns, a choral recording, two scripture readings, and a homily. My uncle had been a member of his church since 1945, which I can’t even fathom. My family is so nomadic; no moss grows under feet, at least from my parents on down. All four of my grandparents and both parents were born in Pennsylvania, so we have a long history here. We enjoyed an evening of carryout food and good conversation at Auntie’s house, catching up on family happenings and reminiscing about family history. It’s good to touch base with family, remember where we came from, and give thanks for the love and connections we share.
We called Mamacita and put her on speaker phone so she could talk to her sister. She made sure to tell her that if she needs anything, her (Mamacita’s) daughters are there, “so just ask what you need them to do.” Auntie joked, “What, like wash my windows?” My parents were always volunteering us in the name of community and family service. I may have balked at times growing up, but I’m grateful for having been taught the value of service.