Post with 13 notes
when i was much much younger, i suffered from severe asthma. my childhood was built on 3AM visits to the ER and hourly nebulizer treatments.
My mother was alone, raised me by herself, trying to finish her education and pay the bills.
We spent a lot of time on cape cod where my Aunt and Uncle and cousin George lived. I remember flying down route 6 late on friday nights to avoid traffic, my mother in tears from social strife completely unknown to an 8 year old kid, telling me we had to do laundry and Aunt Tee was the only family member who had a washer and dryer so it only made sense that way.
Being severely allergic to the cats and dogs that lived there, I often was sent sleep at Alice’s house. Alice was my mother’s god mother, a former teacher in the Boston Public Schools, twice widowed; and although she wasn’t even related by blood, Alice had been a surrogate parent to my mom when her own mother died of a brain tumor. My grandfather had become a severe alcoholic and my mother was 17 and still in high school with nowhere to turn.
On the week of my seventh birthday Hurricane Bob had devestated the roadways of Southern Massachusetts. Power was out across the coast and the Sagamore Bridge was laregely uncrossable for the better part of the week. Every day Alice would come to Aunt Tee’s house, and every night I would go home with her. Alice was in her 80’s then and a devout catholic. For that entire week we would spend the drive home praying together that the lights would be back on.
Alice had family she never saw, nieces and nephews of her own. She always told me how she prayed for every single one of us every night of her life and I absolutely believed her. She kept photos of each member of our family strewn across her house and sent us all cards with dollar bills tucked inside of them for every major holiday.
I stopped going to see Alice when she was 95, her health declined almost as quickly as her memory. My mother always said that Alice couldn’t recognize her any time she visited and that it would be too hard for any of us to see her, but we’d take time to call her anyway if her nurse said it was a good day for it.
Alice died today. Maddie had to deliver the news because my phone is broken. We’re burying her on Saturday. I’ve never had to read a eulogy before but they want me to read a report I wrote for grandparents’ day when I was in elementary school.
I haven’t seen her in four years, and in all honesty nothing about my immediate life is going to change.
We’ve seen this coming for four years now.
I still can’t believe she’s gone.