Most of us have family, in some regard or another. I, for one, have a large one. Both paternal and maternal cousins, aunts, uncles, great-aunts & great-uncles, second and third and fifteenth cousins…
Growing up, I always felt a bit of a black sheep. My family never made me feel weird or freakish, but somehow I did not exactly think I fit in. Maybe it was all the carrying around of books, I did, or the writing feverishly at the family reunion while my age-mates played volleyball or what have you.
But there were, naturally, a few people I connected with more strongly than the rest. My best friend & platonic soulmate, Tim, for one. My cousin, Becca, and on my father’s side, I adored and admired and wanted to be as cool as my cousin, Amy. My Uncle Glen, when I was a baby, taught me to say Yee-haw! and I always loved him for that.
But my Aunt Jeannie – I always felt a kinship to her. I felt like she got me, understood me. And admittedly, her love of books probably helped that along, but when I finished the first draft of a novel back in high school, she volunteered to read it. And she really wanted to – she bugged me about getting her her copy for ages.
Eventually, she got it. And she got copies of the ones I’ve written since, as well, including the two direct sequels and the last fully completed one.
I love her.
I mean, like a friend, like a cousin, like an aunt, like a sister, like some weird kindred spirit – when I think of people who mean a lot to me no matter the distance or time between us… Aunt Jeannie is at the top of the list.
So when I read on FB that she was in the hospital having spine surgery – I freaked out a bit inside.
If you’ve read my blog at all, even a little, you probably know that I have issues with mortality and death, my own and others’. And even though (as of this writing) she came out of surgery fine and was resting comfortably in Harborview, I could not help but worry. Worry until my own heart started to twinge and I worried that I was going to need to go to the hospital.
I am not ready to say good-bye, not to my wonderful Carol Jean – aunt & friend extraordinaire. Not to my mother, my friends, my husband, my mother-in-law, my self.
And thinking about her mortality makes me realize how many of the people I love are getting old. Sixties, seventies. How many of the people I have loved are already gone. How many more will I lose before they lose me?
Dear Lord, I am really depressing lately!
Anyway – I am praying for a quick recovery for my splendidly wonderful Aunt Jeannie, and that all those people I love and could not bear to live in a world without…live forever.
Note: Image is “dices” by (tijmen) from SXC.hu