My very favorite aunt is in the hospital. After a month of battling with back pain that had her house-bound (at 89 years old she had still been driving!), she woke up yesterday morning, unable to move because of the excruciating pain.
She’s my Mom’s sister (my Mom was an “oops!” baby born 20 years after her sister) and they share the same kind of smart ass humor that was passed on to me. Growing up, she was always the one us kids wanted to visit and stay at her house, because she was cool and fun and up for anything, it seemed like.
And so now, to see her lacking her usual sunny, everything-is-great disposition, has been hard for me.
In some ways, this feels like the beginning of the end. And lord knows, I’m always the one covering my ears and saying “LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU…!!!” to these kinds of situations.
I’ve been fortunate in my life to not have had to deal with a lot of death. My Mom’s parents – since she was so much younger than her siblings – passed away 30-40 years ago. My Dad’s parents? Still alive and kicking (though with the attitude, “well, I might not see you again because I’m going to die soon”… which they’ve had for well on 15 years now).
But now that I have 4 close relatives, all 87 years and older, it’s inevitably coming.
And if I had my way? I’d want no part of it.
How shall I put this? I’m a touch resistant to change (hello! after years of deny deny deny.. what do you know.. I’m gay!). All the good-bye’s. And things never being the same. And the moving on.
But – but…the moving on. Perhaps that’s the saving grace in all this. After everything, life might not be the same, but who says being the same is good? Growing, changing, renewing… all part of the process of creating a better you.
I suppose that sometimes you just wake up and understand that you need to change and reinvent yourself. Most times, though, I think it takes dealing with difficult situations to push you forcibly in the direction you need to head. It’s not easy to make a decision to leave comfort and familiarity for the scariness of the unknown. But, it needs to be done anyway. Which is why life never stands still.
So, for the time being, I’ll use this wake-up call to do the important stuff: the I-love-you’s and letting people know that they make a difference in your life. And in the back of my head, I’ll be prepared for whatever may come, good or bad. And regardless, move onward.