Goodbye Aunty Eunice

This morning I lay listening to the rain, afraid to move…afraid to re-animate myself and truly wake up to the reality of life.
If I just lay here quietly listening to the rain and to Rob breath beside me, if I don't move I'm technically not awake and don't have to deal with the truth of life, I don't need to remind myself that my aunt, my godmother, my "other mom" is no longer with us.
She died in such a cruel way, her body deteriorating as cancer made its way through her like a group of teenage boys attacking a buffet table. At the end she could hardly see, eat or move.
One of the proudest women I'd ever known – the one who on her sick bed still tells me, "You really should get your hair done", and looked at my maternity wear and inquired if I didn't have "anything cuter to wear" – she faded in front of our eyes.
The woman who often acted as my conscience – you can ask any of my cousins, the words, "Aunty Eu wants to speak to you" sent shudders down your spine and made you do a quick stock-take on what you could have done wrong – that woman is gone.
The woman who used to hand me first class guilt trip tickets if I didn't contact her in a while and would play act that she couldn't recognise me saying something like, "you know you remind me of this girl who is so close to my heart and who I helped raise, but it can't be her as she never phones or visits anymore", that woman is gone.
The one I used to devour magazines and cookbooks with, she is no longer here. The one I used to plan – but hardly ever complete – craft projects with, she's no longer here.
The woman who ended up being the first person in the family to meet Robin (due to him visiting when my family was out of town, me accidentally setting off our alarm system and her being on the alarm company's to-call list) and then both scaring the crap out of him and making him feel like part of the family, she's gone.
The woman who never had children of her own and truly understood our heartache over Logan and the possibility of never having children, she is gone.
There will be no more sitting at her dining room table or on her bed chatting about the intricacies of faith, religion and family. No more shared low cal recipes we never end up making. No more nothing.
All I have is memories like those of me staying over at her house every second week during most of my teen life because she didn't like sleeping alone when her husband was working nights and then she could always help me with school work while I studied without having to fight my siblings for dominance of the dining room table (my favorite study spot).
I remember silently watching movies while she slept (they had pay-tv way before my parents did), I remember spending hours in their shed reading magazines older than I was, I remember her teaching me to sew (jury is still out on whether she was successful or not – my gran and mom tried to teach me too), I remember, as a little girl, her reprimanding me for interrupting conversations and reminding me to always respect my elders even if they were crazy (her words not mine).
I remember her at every pivotal part of my life, fighting back the urge to take control (I inherited that control thing in equal parts from her and my dad) because as she recently told me, she didn't want my mother to feel undermined (she didn't want to be my dads know it all older sister-well not more so than usual,hehe).
I will always remember her brutal honesty, her dress sense, her attempting to tame my bush of unruly hair and most of all more than anything I will remember our last conversation… a week after she called the family in to "say her goodbyes" and with tears in her eyes hugged me and vowed to help me raise Aidan even if she was no longer here (she so badly wanted to meet him and I so badly wanted him to know her…)
Our last conversation went something like this; With her eyesight already failing she tried to locate me in the room, I went over to her and she rubbed my hand and asked in a hushed completely uncharacteristically soft way why no-one told her I was there, I smiled and told her that I prefer to "make an entrance" she rubbed my hands with hands I could no longer recognise as her own and said, "I love you girlfriend" my heart skipped a beat and I asked her if she knew how much I loved her and she shook her head yes and smiled at me in that mischievous "excuse you, I know everything" way of hers…
I'm going to miss you sooooo much Aunty Eunice, but I will remember the biggest lessons you taught me:
– I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (a verse she made me recite every time I felt weak)
– Don't go out looking for heartache and other people's opinions of you is none of your business (Something she drummed into me after my first big break-up)
– Ultimately God is in control, at the times you crave control the most LET GO and LET GOD.

Sent from my BlackBerry®

4 thoughts on “Goodbye Aunty Eunice

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *