I was reading a mystery novel that I started a couple nights ago. The phone rang. The phone never rings out here. Should have known it was for something bad.

No one in this family has the ability to answer a ringing phone. My uncle had headphones on and likely didn't hear it. My grandpa was napping. And of course, my dad just sat on his ass watching T.V., pretending the ringing phone didn't exist. So I answered.

It was my cousin Lynne, trying to locate my grandmother. Grandma is at work. I've never met this cousin, or if I have it was very long ago. Either way she didn't remember me and I don't really know much more than her name. All I know is she is related to my great Aunt Betty.

Lynne sounded upset and kinda frantic. She had been trying to get ahold of someone all day. She couldn't reach Dawn. Dawn is my cousin who lives in WA, one of my aunt Betty's children.

I asked if something was wrong with Aunt Betty. She said no that wasn't it, but wanted phone numbers for how to reach people. I got my grandmother's work number and my Great Aunt Pat's number for her. I swear it was like a hostage situation with the exchange of information.

After giving her Grandma's work number Lynne told me what had happened. My cousin Kenneth is dead. I don't know what happened, she didn't say. But my guess is something accidental or bad. Because he wasn't sick.

At that point, Aunt Betty didn't know. But my Aunt Betty has a bad heart and has been through numerous surgeries and is on all sorts of meds. Plus she's old. Lynne was trying to find family that could go and be with her and tell her what happened. She didn't want Aunt Betty to be alone when she found out.

I told her that she should call the DQ and ask for Nancy. Assured her that grandma would probably go over to Aunt Betty's as soon as she got off work. But also gave her Aunt Pat's number and told her that Aunt Pat could get there the fastest. I would have gone, but it's 30 minutes to Aunt Betty's from here.

Lynne asked me my name and I told her who I was. I don't think she put two and two together. Oh well, she's forgiven. After I hung up, I told dad what had happened. My dad's reaction was, "My cousin Ken is dead? Whoa."

I went to the other end of the house and told my uncle. His reaction was identical to dad's. Apparently, they both have forgotten that I'm a member of this family too and that Kenneth is also my cousin as well. My uncle went in to my grandparent's room and told Grandpa what had happened.

Right now my Grandparents are at my Aunt Betty's, being support for her. Apparently she's calm right now, but the news may not have sunk in yet. Kenneth was one of her sons.

I just feel sad. I didn't really know Kenneth-he's much older than I am, but I'm still sad. Mainly I feel sad for my Aunt Betty. She's a kind and loving woman. She doesn't deserve this. She's outlived her husband, she shouldn't have to outlive one of her children as well.

I suppose in the next few days we'll find out when and where the funeral is. Depending on my work schedule, I'll try to go. If nothing more than to be there for my great aunt.
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