On the 3rd day of sickness - Sunday - I learned that my aunt had emergency surgery for bleeding on the brain. She's in intensive care and somewhat communicative, though confused.
My aunt is only 6 years older than me because my grand-parents were fooling around in their mid-forties using the Rhythm Method. We found the pamphlet after going through my grandparents things when they died. Due to their shenanigans, J entered our lives, and shocked my grandparents back to life.
After raising 4 children through the 1940s and 1950s, here they were, middle-aged and facing the turbulent 60s. As an example, J brought them and me to a head shop on Chimes St. near LSU. They had no idea, but I knew we shouldn't be there because of the t-shirts with boobies painted on them and all the colorful pipes everywhere. By then, my grandparents were too old to argue.
Because we are so close in age, J has been more like a sister than an aunt to me over the years. God knew what He was doing since my real sister died when I was almost 6. J helped me get through that horrible time, like when I would hear a song on the radio that reminded me of the car accident and cry uncontrollably, J would call for my grandmother to come see about me. She definitely looked after me, yet when I annoyed her and her friends, I was told to bug off just like a big sister would.
After we became adults, had our own children and I moved away, we haven't been AS close as I would have liked. Since her 20s, J has been dealing with fibromyalgia, migraines, TMJ and a host of strange health problems. She asserts that my grandparent's genes were old and weak and they passed that on to her. About 15 years ago, fed up with all the pain, she attempted suicide with an overdose. Her husband found her on the bed with several crucifixes placed on her body.
Since that time, she has dealt with an incredibly wayward alcoholic daughter who also dabbled in the occult. This causes her and the rest of the family much heartache. She has another daughter who went through some rebelliousness, but nothing like the other daughter. We've also seen J go through a gambling addiction, several moves, marriage separation, and a bankruptcy.
My life hasn't been perfect, either. The blemishes left scars on me and my family. J never judged me for anything I did - at least not to my face. There were times I complained about her in exasperation because I wanted all the pain and suffering to stop, for her and for me, but I shouldn't have passed judgment. Especially now, seeing years of pain culminate into this horrific event she's going through.
Throughout all of this, J's husband has been there. He has not been perfect by any means, but he’s been there, just as he is now through this brain hemorrhage ordeal.
Today is J's birthday. I wish I could call her up as I had planned to wish her a fabulous day. I hope she recovers from this horrible thing so that I can tell her how much she means to me and that even though our lives didn't turn out the way we had planned, it's our life, it's special and it still has purpose.