Thursday, July 22, 2010

Rest In Peace, Auntie



Some lives are harder than others. My Aunt had one of those.

Born late in life to her parents, she was always loved, but the family had moved on from small children. Some in the small town in which they lived thought she was actually the illegitimate daughter of her older sister, age 18, who would eventually become my mother. Of course, she wasn't, but the stigma would follow her like a cloud through life. A dark cloud followed her everywhere.

She was caught in a fire that destroyed the family restaurant, while still in her crib. Caught in the back, she was left to perish until her older brother broke free from those holding the family back and raced in to save his baby sister. He would be known as the family hero, especially by her.

They rushed her, wrapped in sheets, from the small town of Gerlach, 100 miles to the nearest town which was Reno, Nevada. She was badly burned, thought not to make it. She did. She was always bucking expectations.

Scarred for life, she had a tough one. The same uncle once said that she never mentally matured beyond age 18. He was right. She never did.

She was desperate for love. Desperate for someone to care enough for her to give her what everyone around her had. But only used and abused, it never happened. She never quit looking - in all the wrong places.

A son, without the father. Raised with the help of her mother. A prison term of 18 months for a mistake made while trying to ingratiate herself with the wrong people. No one was ever hurt, or a victim of any crime. She never got over it. Never recovered from it. Was forever terrified of authority. Her one and only brush with the law. Cementing the fact that the poor go to prison and the rich hire lawyers that evade even the most heinous crimes.

The last ten years were in bed, cared for by her son and his family. Felled by congestive heart failure and diabetes, one leg amputated, the other in jeopardy. Beautiful grandchildren that she adored, so proud of their accomplishments.

After my visit earlier in the month, she evidently didn't make it home again. I have no idea why she wasn't taken home that day - she was waiting to go. But instead she was sent to a convalescent home. It must have been such a blow. All she had with her were some pictures of her dogs - long gone, but not forgotten.

Her heart stopped five times last night. They revived her every time.

Until this morning.

Now she can go home, walk into the arms of those that love her, free from pain.

Rest in peace, Auntie. Give my Mama a kiss, okay?

34 comments:

Bonnie said...

Quite a life your dear Aunt had, Nancy. Please accept my condolences. You must be so glad you had your recent visit with her. Take care of yourself.

Butternut Squash said...

Some people seem to have that dark cloud hanging over them from the very beginning. Your aunt and mine had very similar stories of misfortune. May they find the eternal peace that they could not find in life. I'm glad that you got to spend some time with her before she passed. My condolences to you and your family.

lakeviewer said...

Oh what a tough life she has led. You wrote a beautiful elegy here, Nancy, May she rest in peace.

Julie said...

My sympathies on your aunt's passing. What a well written post. I hope she is at peace.
My aunt passed 10 years ago and had a similarly hard life and I hope she is at peace as well.

Cloudia said...

blessings with Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral

California Girl said...

My sincere condolensces, Nancy. That is such a sad story. I remember your post about going to see your aunt a few wks ago and how happy you were you had gone.

Some people do have such tragic lives. I hope her son brought her joy.

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

It is sad that your aunt had to suffer all those hardships. I love that she had photos of her beloved dogs nearby. My dogs have been & are my children so I can identify. She was lucky to have you as a dear niece.

Brian Miller said...

i am sorry to hear of your loss, but glad she has found peace..i am also glad you got to spend time with her. smiles.

Jo said...

Aw... what a lovely tribute to your aunt.

There is a belief that in Heaven everyone is 30 years old and whole again, with no scars. I like to believe that is true.

Deborah said...

Oh Nancy, the last line choked me up. Reading this, I was reminded of your post a few weeks ago when you wrote of being 'nudged' to see your aunt again. How good that you did - so important for both of you.
Your dear aunt had a terribly hard life - I cannot imagine such a struggle. I also winced at the efforts to 'bring her back' - I believe she won in the end.
Hers was a remarkable story and I am glad that you shared it with us. Please accept my sympathy for your loss of her.

alaine@éclectique said...

Such a sad story, Nancy but now your dear Auntie is suffering no more. A lovely tribute.

I am still boiling about the story on your 'rich' link! What a slug!

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

May light guide her always, into the afterlife and back into a better and less difficult new life. This is a beautiful piece you've written for her.

Natalie said...

I love Trish's comment. I will second it, and send love to you and most especially to Auntie.

ellen abbott said...

Perhaps she chose a hard harsh life to work off a lot of karma so that her next would be full of love.

潘凱花潘凱花 said...

文章寫的不錯~推一把( ̄ー ̄〃)......................................................

maggie's garden said...

So sorry for your loss. Sad that your Auntie had such a tough life. I'm glad she got to have grandchildren in her life...and hoping they gave her lots of happiness. Take care Nancy.

Jeninacide said...

She is free now. No more cumbersome earthly body to keep her down.

Amanda said...

rosaria said it perfectly - what a beautiful elegy you have written. my deepest condolences for your loss and may your dear aunt rest in peace.

Linda Pendleton said...

So sorry, Nancy. May she now have peace ... and may your family find theirs.

Jill of All Trades said...

Oh my goodness, what a life story. My condolences to you and yours.

The Good Cook said...

All lives have meaning. Your aunt's life, while it reads tragic, had significant meaning to you, your other aunts and uncles and of course her son and grandchildren in which she will live on forever in.

I offer up your prayer to your Aunt - and your own dear mother. May they have a wonderful reunion and stir up some eternal trouble together!

DJan said...

She was loved, obviously, because you tell her story with such love and appreciation in your post. I hope that she does now rest in peace. I wonder why they don't let people just go and make them suffer so. They would never do this to a beloved pet. But she now has moved on. Thanks for the lovely story of her life, Nancy.

ds said...

I am sorry for your loss, Nancy. Glad you were able to visit her. Such a life! But you have given her an elegant tribute; I think she--and your Mama--are smiling.

Marguerite said...

So sorry for your loss, Nancy. My condolences to you and your family, during this difficult time.

Pat said...

Sounds like you aunt had a hard life from the get go. I like to believe that she is in a better place and living a wonderful life.

I'm sorry for your loss.

Friko said...

I am very glad to see that she DID find love. Her son and her family loved her as you must have done, or else you wouldn't have bothered to visit her.

susan said...

I do sincerely hope there's a peaceful afterlife waiting for your dear auntie. I always like the idea of the Buddhist Pure Land where we can go to heal and move on. Let me add my condolences for your loss.

Rob-bear said...

What a wonderful tribute to a chaming but challenged woman.

Condolences to you, and her family.

reberto.alberto said...

Hi there!

Shortstorybook.net is organizing a short story writing contest.

We do think that you too might have a marvelous story to tell, one that is your own! So if you can compose it in not more than few words, we would want to hear from you. Also, you stand a chance to get your story published on our site and win cash prize of USD 100.

“Then what are you waiting for? …put on your thinking cap and get writing. For registration and other information check - http://bit.ly/short-story-contest-2010

Happy writing!

Reya Mellicker said...

I hope she is resting peacefully at last. What a sad story. Do you think people clear a lot of karma during lifetimes like that? I never understand.

Jayne Martin said...

Nancy, I'm so sorry for your loss. What a sad little life. You've gotta wonder what God's thinking sometimes. I'm so glad she had the joy of your recent visit.

Beautifully written piece, as always.

Big hugs, Jayne

Amy said...

Nancy, Your beautifully written tribute to your aunt touched me greatly. It's hard to imagine growing up in Gerlach let alone survive a fire and all the other heartaches. I truly believe your aunt is at peace at last and she was fortunate to have such a caring family.

I've been absent for awhile (guess where?) so I'm catching up slowly but surely. Hope you're feeling better Nancy.

Hilary said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, Nancy. Such a lovely tribute to your Aunt. She had a tough life but it's clear she was well loved by you.

Lydia said...

Jeez. This was beautiful but so sad. It isn't fair that some people have lives of such despair.
I am so sorry for your loss. You were a good niece and she must have loved you dearly.