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R.I.P. Aunt Mickie

December 21, 2009

If there are any of my “regular” readers left after so long between posts (not to mention the shitstorm I unwittingly stirred up in my previous post), you may recall last year I posted a tribute to my Grandma Kay, who passed away in July of 2008.

Unfortunately, I just got word that her sister, my great-aunt Mickie, passed away last night.  I last saw Aunt Mickie in September of 2008, at my uncle Steve’s house in Roseville, CA, when we had the “celebration of life” party in remembrance of G.K.  Mickie was having difficulty getting around at that time but, for all intents and purposes, seemed to still be full of the same spirit I always considered her to possess.  Much like G.K., in the last few months, Mickie’s health had started to decline, and last night she ultimately passed on.

This picture was taken at Uncle Steve’s at the party for G.K. last year; it is one of my favorites, especially since I virtually never see the lovely women in it.  I wish I could enlarge it without degrading the picture quality.

The beautiful bookends in the picture are my So-Cal cousins, Lauren (l) and Amanda (r); their mother, Kristen, second from left in green; Kristen’s sister Renée, second from right; and Aunt Mickie in the middle, seated next to my embarrassingly round gut.

[Technically, Renée and Kristen are my dad’s cousins, which I think makes them my second cousins. But a cousin is a cousin to me, especially since, even at 42 years old, I still don’t really understand how the second/third/fourth cousin thing works, not to mention that whole “once/twice removed” thing.  I really don’t know exactly what relation I am to Amanda and Lauren, so I just call them all my cousins.  What up, cuuuzz?!! 😉 ]

But I digress.

Anyway, some people were getting pictures of the Drager girls, and I took it upon myself to squeeze my lard ass into a couple of the shots, since I have very few pictures of many of my California extended family.  This picture is also symbolic for me of how I was fortunate enough to have further cemented the close bond I have with Kristen (even though we’ve seen each other 3 times in the last 15 years), to have finally gotten to meet and get to know Amanda and Lauren, to have spent more time with Renée, and to have had the pleasure of getting a few hours with Aunt Mickie.  We all laughed together, cried together, and the experience helped me remember just how precious any time with loved ones actually is.

To my So-Cal gals, as well as to Harry and Harrison (Kristen’s husband and son), you’re always in my thoughts and prayers.  I love you all tons and tons, and miss you just as much.

And to dear Aunt Mickie, Godspeed.  You and GK and Naomi are together again, and while you’re no longer here for us in body, rest assured you’ll always be in our minds and in our hearts.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Kristen permalink
    December 21, 2009 8:37 pm

    Thank you for your kind words John. AND I am really impressed you could tell who was who between the girls. 😉
    This is a really difficult day, one I thought I was well prepared for. I guess you never really are ready to lose your parent, regardless of their age or ill health. I think as long as your parents are alive, you can always be the “child”. You always feel like you have somewhere to go, someone to take care of you. I just got mentally slammed with the reality that, at 55 years old, I have to be the grown up now. It sucks, but it is the natural progression of life, and mom had a great life.

  2. Marjorie permalink
    December 21, 2009 9:39 pm

    That was really beautiful, John. My eyelids stung with tears as I read it. I loved Mickie. She was so much fun, and she had a great sense of humor. She and our beloved Uncle Cliff had a great relationship. And I was always struck by the close relationship between the girls and Mickie. We’ll all miss her.

  3. Renee permalink
    December 22, 2009 12:02 am

    Dearest John,

    Thank you so much for this lovely tribute to Mom. It is a sad, sad day for us, no doubt, but I also take great comfort in knowing that Mom is finally out of pain, at peace and is with my dad and her two sisters whom she loved so dearly. I was with Mom and am so grateful her passing was so peaceful. I know her love of her family (and ours for her) kept her going for much longer than we could have imagined was possible. Like Naomi and Kay before her, she was a strong, determined woman, and now the “Roach Girl Trio” is complete once again.

    I am so blessed to be a part of such a wonderful family and love you all so much.


  4. Johann permalink
    December 22, 2009 12:06 am

    Thanks, Mom.

    Renée- I hope I was able to do you proud. I didn’t really “know” Aunt Mickie all that well, but the time I did spend with her, especially at GK’s 90th party and last year in Roseville, was an absolute treat for me.

    And Kristen, I know what you mean- you always think you’re prepared (or will be prepared) for it, but once it comes it still just kicks you in the head. I was amazed at how I went through that with GK. I also imagine that’s part of the reason why I am so… I don’t know, hostile, I guess, for lack of a better word… towards having to go to the estate planning meetings with my folks. ABOUT my folks. I guess at just under 42, I’m still not ready to be a grownup yet. I suppose I better work on that.

    And for the record, I was probably about 95% sure I identified Lauren and Amanda correctly. That other 5% was nagging me after I published the post, though… wondering if I had just made myself look like an idiot. I do that enough as it is. Luckily, I was right after all!!

  5. SpringfieldZebra permalink
    December 22, 2009 9:29 am

    Johann, great tribute to a great Lady. My condolences to the entire extended Drager Family.

    Even though during the last few weeks we expected that Aunt Mickie’s passing was becoming more imminent, it is still difficult to accept when that ultimate time arrives.

    Even though, due to a separation of over 200o miles, I didn’t get the chance to visit very much with Aunt Mickie and her family, I have very fond memories back 50 years ago when Aunt Mickie, Uncle Cliff, and cousins Renée and Kris became my surrogate family while I was a student at UCLA. I spent many memorable weekends with them during that year memories which I will never forget.

    Johann, I, along with Kristen, am impressed that you were able to correctly identify Lauren and Amanda. With me it would have been no better than a 50-50 shot.

  6. Johann permalink
    December 22, 2009 11:37 am

    Thanks, Pop.

    But please let the record show, since you pointed it out in your email, I did not- repeat, NOT- even notice Amanda’s name tag, not to mention the fact that with the picture being that size, I couldn’t read it even if I HAD seen it. :p

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