misc19/11.  That was probably the last day I ever spoke with my Aunt Marta.  I remember trying to frantically call her when I had seen what had happened.  Her husband, Fred, worked in The World Trade Center.

As it turned out, Fred was in London on business.  I don’t want to think about what happened to his colleagues.

I had lost touch with some of my family in America for various reasons.  My Uncle George – the so-called black sheep of the family – and my favourite Uncle – recently sent me a change of address card.  I called him immediately as we’d lost touch – I lost his details.  After reassuring him that I still loved him and that I was merely a ditz for losing his address, we caught up on all of the family news.

Sadly, I received a letter yesterday from my Uncle George – my Aunt Marta (who used to be married to my Uncle Lenny) died last week.  She was in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s and she was on life support.  She was only 65, still young for that disease.   I need to call Fred.

Although My Aunt Marta had been divorced from my Uncle Lenny, she was still very much a big part of the family and was like my mother.  She looked after us.  When I moved to New York, we used to meet in the city and go to the theatre, see the ballet, or go to Carnegie Hall for a concert.

She was such a beautiful and vibrant woman.  I can’t imagine what the last few years of her life had been like for her and her family.  I do know that she was very happy in her life with Fred, her second husband.  She met him when she turned 50.  ‘It’s never too late to find love and happiness’, she once told me.  There is hope for me yet.

This sad turn of events had got me thinking about my family – more than normal.  I don’t feel that I need to live in the same country to be close to my parents and brothers – though sometimes I miss taking an active part in their lives – especially as I have the most adorable niece and nephew.

As I live so far away from my family – I am usually the last person to know what is going on.  I don’t want to be the last to know.

I have lived in the UK for over 20 years.  My only family here is the one I created.  My children are the only reason I’m still here – I would prefer to live somewhere warm.

In this age of the internet and mobile phone, communication with others is a lot easier.  I just talked to my son on MSN – he is in Bolivia!

There used to be a saying by AT&T in America:  A telephone call is the next best thing to being there.  Now it is the internet.  Keep in touch.  Communication is the key to everything.


2 thoughts on “Family

  1. Sophie

    Hi Arlene
    Just found your blog… loving your witty tongue at the milongas, I look forward to reading your tales with glee. Good luck with the life change, the redundancy seems to come at exactly the right time (however traumatic it may seem now!)

    Best of luck with blogging and discovering yourself
    Un beso tanguero

  2. Arlene

    Hi Sophie,
    Lovely to hear from you. I have decided put my thoughts out there for the rest of the world – rather than for the group. Falls on deaf ears and the boys think they know everything. Watch this space for more on Tango.
    I’m not worried about not working. Time and place and timing for everything.
    Lots of love to you,
    A xx
    PS: If you ever go to Sevilla, please dance. The people are so lovely!

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