My aunt is dead. She was 54, though that doesn’t seem possible to me. She seems so much younger in my mind.
I remember meeting her, my uncle bringing her around. She was the cool aunt, because she was younger than my others. I stood up in their wedding. She lived one block behind our house, so when I learned to ride my bike, I’d go over and say hello. At least until I was old enough to realize that dropping in like that isn’t polite.
She didn’t have her own children. My uncle has two boys they didn’t see much of, and I always wondered if she regretted being childless. I never asked her. She spent time with my mom, my sister and I, lots of girls day outs. In fact, my last trip home, my mother and my aunt and I all went to lunch. I’m devastated I didn’t get to say goodbye, but I’m glad I saw her fairly recently.
She was the adult I went to with issues I didn’t want to talk to my mom about. She was kinda ditzy, my uncle always made blond jokes about her, but she was smart in a lot of ways. Very neat, warm, friendly. She was the kindness that tempered my uncle’s anger, truly his other half. They would have celebrated their 25th anniversary just a few months from now.
The youngest of my aunts and uncles, I did not expect this call. It was very unexpected. Arm pain, shortness of breath, she fell just steps in the hospital and it was over. No suffering, which in my family, is indeed a blessing. My mother delivered the news, but I spoke with my uncle as well. Always the tough guy, he’s trying so hard to hold everything together.
I will never forget her laugh.
Every year I commemorate the day in some fashion, and usually there’s a post here.
This year seems low-key. Many of the people who would have remembered every year have drifted further away and I don’t anticipate hearing from them. I don’t have exciting plans, I didn’t give D a birthday list, so I’m not getting a surprise gift. We had a long talk about expectations and desires. It was a difficult talk.
I’m no longer young, I suppose I shouldn’t get excited about the day anymore, but I like an excuse to feel important. Those occasions become less and less frequent, and yet, I feel like sometimes, I want to be selfish, I want it to be about me.
Some years are harder than others. I’m hoping the next is a better one, but this last one hasn’t been too bad, I can’t complain. Still, I want for more next year.
May the next year of my life be filled with love, happiness, peace, fun, sex, new experiences, good surprises and laughter.