my mother's sister died last night. i'm not sure i believe it yet. my aunt maretta. i loved her quirky ways. visiting her when i was a child was odd and wonderful. her living room walls covered from floor to ceiling with elvis album covers. her home and her kids and her meals and life was so different from ours. they always had cans of pop and candy. it was all so unusual and exciting for me. she took me to hollywood. hollywood in 1974. seedy and glittery all at once. i was almost 8 and have never needed to return. it was the perfect visit. i saw it as i was meant to see it. tortured and tarnished with a touch of the glory days remaining. i think maybe maretta loved it best that way as well. she was obsessed with elvis and marilyn. in a whimsical off-beat way, they were as beloved to her as her family. it was irreverant and erratic and i loved her for it. her visits to canada were marvelous too. she would come in the heat of the summer to avoid any cool weather. and we would look for marilyn books from canada that she may not be able to get in southern california. she loved to make unseemly comments and laugh and laugh when my grandmother (her mother) would gasp. she would call me 'nettey nettey nettey' with a sarcastic lilt to her voice.....think 'marsha marsha marsha'. she was funny and wonderfully unconventional.
her illness was brief and her death unexpected. but i believe it would have worked into her plan to slip away the way she did. i will miss you, maretta maretta maretta.