I am back in California this week. This time the occasion is not a happy one – my Aunt passed away and much of my family is in Victorville, CA for her funeral. Despite the fact that I have a fairly large extended family, I have not had to deal with many deaths. But in the past year and a half, I’ve lost two uncles and now my Aunt Mae. While I was not extremely close with my uncles, I spent quite a bit of time with Aunt Mae growing up when we lived in Southern California in the eighties. Unlike my brother, who is very good about keeping in touch with family and friends, I have not been very good about checking in with Aunt Mae. I called every now and then, and definitely when she would occasionally fall ill, but I didn’t call as much as I should have. I didn’t send pictures of the kids as often as I should have. I don’t think I’ve ever told her how much I loved coming to see her during the summer, how much I loved her garden or how much I enjoyed hearing her laugh. Even though I know she knew that I loved her, I didn’t give her enough flowers while she was still here.