I'm running out of relatives!
Two days ago, my cousin Barbara called one of her sons to say she needed an ambulance. I'm not sure why she didn't just call 911, but maybe she wanted his help, too. Or maybe, at some level, she felt that she should have him around while she could. Besides, he immediately called one, so it probably didn't matter. [Addendum: I now understand that she may have called an ambulance and then called her son. Again, not that it matters, but that makes more sense.]
They did emergency surgery. I don't know all of the details yet, but it's clear things didn't go well. By yesterday afternoon, she was comatose and on a respirator. Last night, she died.
There are relatives you deal with because you have to. Then there are ones you really want to see. The ones who are nice, smart, interesting... Barbara fell into that latter group.
She was very smart and fun to talk to. She went to Radcliffe and Yale and earned a PhD in an era when few women did such things.
Degrees aren't everything. She was an author and editor. More importantly, she was a great person. She was fun. She loved her dogs (always a plus in my book).
It may seem strange to paraphrase a movie line, but one in particular comes to mind: the world was more interesting with her in it.