Several days after that, she fell and broke her hip.
The medications that they had to give her for the broken bone unbalanced the rest of her medications, leaving her grogged and aphasic; she could see people, she could hear and (we think) understand some of what they said, but she could not speak. At 94, they knew she wasn't going to get better, so they were just trying to control the pain.
Last night, she passed on.
Elvira was the last of my parent's generation, as far as I know. Now it's our turn, and we've already lost cousin Gary.
Elvira was one of the only two aunt-and-uncle couples that I had, growing up. I saw her in person maybe four times while I was growing up, and only the triennial family reunions and the occasional wedding or funeral in the last fifteen years or so. But she was the aunt that always remembered birthdays and Christmas, and the family she raised has some top-quality people. I'm glad I remembered to send her a birthday card.
No plans announced yet, but I think I'm going to have to find something I can wear in February in Wisconsin. Kate wants to come, but she's already committed to teaching classes next weekend, so I don't think I'll let her. Wait and see what the relatives decide.
I don't know how I feel about this; you know old people are going to die, and still it's always a surprise when it happens. I feel sorrow, but not grief, I guess is the closest I can say it.
Goodbye, Aunt El.