I wrote the following a few days after Christmas, but never posted it, until today. This morning, my Dear Aunt Maxine lost her battle with ovarian cancer. I ask for your prayers and thoughts for my mom and dad and her son and daughter and their families.
You’ve been sending hopes and wishes that we had a Merry Christmas. It was a very nice Christmas season, wasn’t it? Family gathered and shared love and gifts. My dear Aunt looked me in the eye on Christmas Eve and said, “I made it.” Bless her heart, she sure did! They have told her that hardly anyone makes it longer than four and a half years, and she will soon be to the five year mark of fighting ovarian cancer. All the doctors told her in October that there was no more surgery or treatments they can do, and she’s been on liquids only since then. I realized last week as Christmas was quickly approaching (and I couldn’t bring myself to make the final preparations) that I’ve been somewhat depressed. My ever ‘in denial’ self didn’t want to pass the mark for which I believe she was striving to reach. She has lost lots of weight, but she still looks so good. If you didn’t know her, you would not be able to tell how long and hard she has fought. She is now living with her daughter, who is courageously fighting the battle with her. It is amazing to everyone around the family since she (daughter) has not always been the most patient, attending nurse, but she is now! Auntie did have to go to Hospice Place for a few days before Thanksgiving, but they allow her to come back home when their care is not required. She has to be infused with blood every week since she is losing blood through her digestive tract. This is the person in my life whose loss I’ve had to prepare for that I love the most. She is my Mom’s closest, and only living sister. In fact, Auntie told me just days ago that it was hard for her to admit, but she loved my Mom more than her own Mother. It is easy to understand… they were born in the time when the older daughters took care of the babies, and from all accounts, Grandmother was not the most loving Mother anyway. I need to be strong for Mom, but I can’t offer my shoulder because this is the first time I don’t think I could hold up. I even felt something from my Dad Christmas day that I’ve not felt before. He is not the most healthy, so that evening I wondered if it was his way of easing back, gentle goodbye. But on this reflection, it may have been his sympathy for the coming loss I felt. I was also disappointed that Dad’s sister from out of state announced that she was coming to have Christmas with us. Now I can acknowledge that it was probably because I wanted “us” to have the time to celebrate Auntie, and not have to focus on the guest. She probably thought it would be good to get our minds off the coming loss…
I guess this is the first time I’ve put these thoughts into words, as tears stream down my face - my admission and acknowledgement that the loss is coming, and sooner than ever. Trying to guess what thoughts and emotions are going on in my parents, without asking or sharing - a little glimpse into the non communication of my dysfunctional family.
and Happy Stitching
and Happy Stitching