Goodbye, Again

Yesterday, less than five minutes after I got out of bed, my phone rang. It was a call I had, on one hand, been expecting for some time, and on the other, thought would never come: my aunt had died overnight.

Like my dad, Anne (his younger sister) had multiple sclerosis, but she suffered from it very differently. Her diagnosis came about 10 years after his, but her decline was both faster and more dramatic, culminating about three years ago with the first signs of dementia as the disease attacked her brain. We were all thunderstruck; we had literally no idea that MS could do that. It was devastating news.

Anne was, as they say, a character. Smart, funny, and quick-witted, she had as strong a personality as they come, and watching it disappear was heartbreaking. Through it all, she maintained her fighting spirit — even to the point of getting kicked out of hospice as many times as she entered it because she knew better than all the doctors that she wasn’t ready to go yet. Yesterday, however, she was, and though I’ve been getting used to missing her for three years now, it’s still tremendously sad.

Really, there is so much more I want to say — about who Anne was and what she meant to me — but I just can’t find the words. She was, oftentimes, a second mother to me, and losing that is difficult, even with a long, slow goodbye.

8 thoughts on “Goodbye, Again

  1. MsP November 8, 2007 / 3:21 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear this. You’ve had one hell of a year, senorita. My consolations to you and the family.

  2. randomduck November 8, 2007 / 4:05 pm

    The words will come: mark ’em down offline and do with it what you wish. I know that your readers might be interested in reading what you write, but it’s okay to keep it close, or pass it on to Anne’s family.

    I know it’s been a craptacular year for you with all of the passings. Hugs to you all around…..

  3. Joanne November 8, 2007 / 4:57 pm

    Oh, Sweetpea. What a simply horrible year for you and your family. I am so so sorry. Hugs to you, and your mom, and your sis and bro. I dearly hope things start going better soon….

  4. Rob November 8, 2007 / 6:08 pm

    Tea and sympathy.

  5. Wendy November 8, 2007 / 6:13 pm

    I’m so sorry.
    You and your family are in my thoughts.
    You know I’m here for you if you need me…

  6. Mom November 8, 2007 / 9:11 pm

    Oh Sweetpea, your words are so eloquent! Our families were raised so close and thanks to ALL of YOU — you, your sibs and cousins — our efforts, it will remain so. ALL of YOU are carrying on what Dad, Anne, Dick, and I had hoped for — I guess — and “planted” — never knowing at that time in our young lives what was ahead. Our hearts are heavy but we will support each other once again. Thanks, dear friends, for your love and support. I hope this is somewhat coherent because I am crying. Love you all for supporting us.

  7. Marlene November 8, 2007 / 10:39 pm

    I wish there was something more to say than “I’m sorry and you are in my thoughts and prayers,” but I don’t know what it would be. My hope for you and all your family is that this is the last of the sad times for awhile. It seems that you’ve had more than your fair share of those this year. Know that my love and support are with you.

  8. Shannon November 9, 2007 / 11:46 am

    I sent you an email but here is my public sentiment as well.

    Lots of hugs for you and your family. You know that you are all close to my heart and I consider you all my extended family as well.

    You are all in my thoughts and you know that you have my unending support (ears, shoulders, whatever you need).

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