They buried my great aunt in her favorite Yankees shirt.
I didn’t go to the funeral because I don’t go to them anymore. My father’s memorial service was the last one and Aunt Joyce understood. She didn’t want to be there either.
But bad things happen to good people and they closed her up in a casket with a big Yankees logo on her chest and a lifetime of memories left behind.
She – like her eight brothers and sisters – was a product of a different generation.
She lived through the Great Depression and World War II.
She married another Yankees fan and raised a family.
She held steady through farm foreclosures and food lines and rationing and shortages and economic recessions and factories closing their doors.
She helped build this country and shape this society.
She survived the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War and every other war since.
She outlasted the administrations of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan and almost George W. Bush.
She loved Jimmy Carter even though he is an Atlanta Braves fan.
She loved Mickey Mantle because he was a Yankee.
And she loved Derek Jeter because he is Derek Jeter.
It was mentioned in her eulogy that her favorite trip – from her Buffalo home – was to New York City to see the Yankees play a couple of years ago.
I went to those games with her and my Uncle Gary. We watched the Yankees beat the Orioles and ate burgers at Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant.
It’s a good memory and it was the last time I saw her.
She was wearing her favorite Yankees shirt.