Monday, May 17, 2010

Feeling a Bit Anxious

First thing this morning my mother called with some bad news. To explain it, I need to give some background first.
I only have one actual aunt. My Dad was an only child and my mother had one sister who was about ten years younger than her. My aunt was about ten years older than me. Almost between our ages. When my Dad was in the Navy, we stayed for lengthy times at my grandmother's small house. I always felt my aunt was more like a big sister to me. I have always wished my mother was more like her. She is a friend as well. About ten years ago my aunt's husband died rather suddenly after years of heart problems/attacks/surgeries. I was with her (and of course her children and my mother) as they turned off the machine once they knew my uncle had no brain function at all. It was the right thing to do and what he would have wanted. My aunt went on alone, working hard at her job. About three years ago she decided to sell her home and buy a place in a senior complex even though she was in her early sixties. In between those homes she lived with her daughter for about a year until she retired. Last January when my grandmother was so ill, my aunt who had waited for decades to retire, went to live and help care for my grandmother. Even though hospice came most days, it was a major undertaking for her. She is diabetic and has health issues herself. My grandmother was confused and at times unkind. Still, my aunt appreciated the time they spent together and stayed focus on all the good. Finally, when my grandmother passed away in October my aunt could return to her home. She still had my grandmother's estate to deal with: an entire house and it's contents and paperwork. Sometime during the months after losing her mother, she was befriended by a neighbor named Frank. He had lost his wife to cancer two years earlier. They enjoyed having dinner together and as time went on seemed to be spending more and more time together. Lately, they were together nearly everyday. My aunt began to confess she was in love with Frank and some days she sounded like a teenager. We were happy that she was finally enjoying life again. This morning she took Frank to the emergency room when he had back pains. Shortly afterwards Frank had a cardiac arrest caused by an aneurysm. I am still in shock over this. I cannot even process how she must be feeling. I have just sat here waiting for the shock to wear off. We don't even know the arrangements yet. Someone has to be with my father 24/7 so if my mother goes that would be me. At this point, my mother doesn't know what she wants to do. Judy was here visiting a few short weeks ago. You never know what life will throw at you. It just hits me so hard because I have been so sick this year and makes me appreciate that I am still here.



Unfortunately, life doesn't guarantee us old age. So sorry to hear of Frank's passing. Your aunt must be so devastated. Even though you probably won't get to be with her during this difficult time... remember, you're just a phone call away. And your voice alone, can provide comfort.

Missie said...

That would be a big shock. When someone complains of back pain, you'd never think of an aneurysm. I'll keep your family in my prayers.

Ronni Gordon said...

Sorry about your uncle. I'm sending positive thoughts your way for getting through this difficult time. I'm sure you'll do fine.