My mom called me on Thursday night to let me know that my great aunt passed away. The funeral service is on Sunday evening. Around lunch time today I hopped in the car and drove about 2 hours to where she was living to be with my family. So here I am, laying in bed with going over the days events. Here is the back story--
My grandmother had 9 brothers and sisters, 5 boys, 5 girls. The boys all passed away when I was young. Now, there are 3 of the 5 girls left. The first of the girls to pass away was my precious grandmother, who died when I was in middle school. We lost her to lung cancer, a terribly nasty disease that sucks the life out of its victims, and leads to much pain and suffering in the final months. My aunt E that passed away on Thursday was the youngest of the 5. She has been living for the last 4 years with her sister, my other great aunt H, who is an angel without wings. See my great aunt H, is one of the kindest souls you will ever meet. Her husband passed away 2 decades ago and she has been living on her own ever since. When my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer, my aunt H packed up a suitcase, locked up her house and moved in with my grandmother and took care of her for 2 years while she was sick. For 2 years, she put her life on pause to take care of her big sister. My aunt H provided so much comfort to my grandmother while she was sick. Then, 4 years ago my aunt E took a terrible fall and got sick. So my aunt H asked her if she wanted to come and live with her, and she said yes. For the last 4 years my aunt played sister, comforter, nurse, mother, doctor, and therapist to a physically and in the end mentally ill woman. She fed her, bathed her, stayed up nights with her, and even changed her diapers in the final weeks of her life. Aunt H did all of this, without asking for anything in return.
After my grandmother passed away I started spending the summers with my great aunt H. She lives in this quaint town with 1 small grocery store, and no police station. I spent my summers running up and down the main roads with my cousins. I stayed up late and watched scary movies with her, and then when I was too frightened to go to bed, she let me sleep with her. In a way she became my surrogate grandmother. So many memories of my childhood are wrapped up in her. Being here in her house, in her town, its like a damn has broken and hundreds of memories are filling my mind. Some good, some bad, some in between.