At Tradie Brother's barbe on Sunday, we were presented with a box of a dozen bottles of wine. They are from your step mother's sister, said T Bro. Maybe Step Mother's sister came to my father's funeral in 2000, but I can't remember. Otherwise, my memory of her dates back to the mid 1970s.
She was perhaps late thirties and I must have been eighteen. She was drunk and I had drunk a couple of beers and was slightly tipsy. After she very accurately (I can't get the word right, so) mentally analysed me, we kissed passionately. Is it right for a father's girl friend's sister to kiss his niaeve son? I care not. It was nice and nothing came of it, and it was never mentioned. But I certainly took a reflective view of her and respected her for cleverness and in spite of probably being an alcoholic, always functioning pretty well and being ever so clever and smart.
I rang Step Mother today. She had a dog breeding meeting to go out to last night. She is in her mid seventies and the comparison between her high functioning in society and personally, and Mother's life, is like chalk and cheese. It is Step Mother's birthday. Her partner was in town getting her driving lights birthday present fitted. She was busy on a machine making track suits to sell at the local market. She made some for Little Jo when she was younger. My late Father certainly switched from a dependant woman, Mother, to a very strong and competent one.
Step Mother updated me on her sister. A son she had who she was only vaguely aware of from when he was born turned up. He is twenty five and works in a winery. So that is where our wine gift came from. Oddly, Step Mother only said her nephew. I knew who he was from a chat with Tradie Brother yesterday.
Step Mother's sister must be in her early seventies now. She lives in a town outside Griffith in NSW.
It was recently flooded. Her house and furniture are ruined and the town is going to take a class action against the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Authority as the town only received one hour's evacuation notice of the flooding and it seems a nearby town was saved by diverting water into a channel that sent all the water to her town, which has never flooded in the past.
Her insurance paid for a week in a motel in Griffith and then after prioritising families with children, put her in a one bedroom unit. Take that as a personal of flood victims in northern Victoria and southern to mid New South Wales.
In some ways I have a big family but the immediate family is small. But the big family would be all there if I was to make an effort.
A couple of days ago Victor posted a photo of his parents' grave. His mother died two years ago. I tried to think of something to write as a comment, but I could not. The grave marking was tastefully simple, his parents and mentioning their son Victor.
I feel sad for Victor who has friends but no family, who are not a choice but a connection.
I suppose I will see Step Mother's sister again at some time, like at a funeral, but I will really make a big effort to connect with her.