I wrote last week about my Tante Franzi, who just died at the age of 96. My father sent me a note telling me that, "She has been dying of something since I remember seeing her in 1958 when I used to visit Paris regularly. We who knew her just blew it off as her hypochondria." So when he heard she had died, he "could only respond with 'what did she die of?'" He heard she had visited with one of her grand-nephews (a cousin of mine from Israel) and his children in the days just before she died, and that her grand-nephew "reported that Franzi had only one tooth of her own when he saw her and she complained about it hurting."
I love that story.
In addition to the warmth I recall (which I wrote about last week), the image that stuck with me the most from my one visit with her in 1992 is this: After so many years of wearing high heels, she couldn't not wear them even after she was basically confined to her apartment. During my visit, she wore the Parisian equivalent of a housedress (making it much more fashionable than an American one, bien sur), stockings and heels. I, a traveling college student in my leggings and t-shirt, felt supremely underdressed.