My Aunt from the South visited her sister (Auntie) today. She was taken back by the change since her last visit. She didn’t stay long. Awkward in that she had said her goodbye’s before. Nonetheless, she mostly talked and my aunt laid there listening. After the departure, my Auntie was still and her arms were quite busy reaching and falling. No pronounced pain. I spend a lot of time rubbing her forehead, temples, hands and the top of her head…very gently. Just kind words and gentle touches.
Speaking of gentle touches, I have been remiss to not better high light my wife through all this journey. She has been part in parcel through this journey with my mom and aunt for over five long years. From the cancer diagnosis for my mom, doctors appointments, errands, chemo, transfusions, hospital vigils….the decision to do hospice, for my mom, in our home for ‘no more than a month’….to doing hospice care, for my mom, for five months in our home, for all that entailed (she put up with emotional pain from my mom, that my mom did not fling my way) to the final end….to helping tend to my aunt in her home….to running countless errands for my aunt….to winning her over with unabashed love and gentleness….to torturing her damaged back a thousand times over inside my mom’s hoarding home….to running sale after sale….to enduring the stench, the filth, the heat and psychological pain of that cleanup….to working through my Auntie’s hoarding kitchen and trying to prepare for her safe return last Summer….to tending to my aunt when she first came home from the hospital with the broken knee, until we realized she needed to be in a care facility….to visiting my aunt almost daily. My wife has provided my Auntie with immeasurable love and attention that she has sorely missed most of her adult life. My Aunt would smile when she saw me. She lights up when she sees my wife.
Yes, this blog was started for me to vent my emotions, frustrations and my journey after the loss of my mom. My wife dealt with her emotions by pouring her heart into my Auntie. Now, as my Aunt nears the end of her life, my wife is there to the bitter end, but still giving the kind touch to my/our Aunt. It is, in reality, shared strife, grief, pain, fear, exhaustion, joy, blessings, sacrifice.
More often than not, those of you that comment have given your prayers, advice and kindness to me and my ‘family’. Amen to that!