Today I found out a former friend, neighbor, and yes, a sort of relative of mine, passed away.
Her name was Doris...Doris Clow. She was married to Roy Clow, a cousin of my family through my Grandmother (her mother was a Clow). Doris also attended the same church my family did. She was always there. She was one of many men and women who were. Their quiet presence, day in and week out, month and year after decade, made you think they would always be there.
Where our old church once stood, she and Roy eventually built a home in town. Right across the side-street from where my grandparents had lived 'uptown' as I called it. When I got married in 1978, that next summer I lived in that house, right by Doris and Roy. I had occasion more than once to cross the road and visit with her. Later, when I lived in Southern California, I would often hear my parents refer to Roy and Doris, then only Doris after Roy passed. It was comforting to know she was still there in the house, in my hometown.
Time passes so quickly. My grandmother used to recall those that were gone in her life with a wistfulness my then-young-mind couldn't possibly grasp. Later, my mother did the same, and by then it had a bit more meaning. Now, it hits harder. Father time has tapped my shoulder more than once. The undiscovered country has been sending travel brochures.
R.I.P., Doris. Maybe I'll see you on the other side...