My family has always been an interesting one. For as long as I can remember, there’s always one person or another not speaking to each other, in both my mom’s and my dad’s families. I really don’t know why it’s this way, nor do I care. What I can tell you however is that because of this I have had what I would call a complicated relationship with my extended families my entire life.
Rest In Peace
My Aunt Sara passed away over the weekend. I woke up Sunday to text after text letting me know. And don’t get me wrong, I am filled with sadness about this. Late Sunday afternoon, I noticed the news had made its way to Facebook. So many people posted old pictures of her and spoke of how much they loved her growing up. That’s when I began to feel robbed.
I did spend time with her growing up, don’t get me wrong. But, I was a mama’s baby. My mom would occasionally leave me at my grandma’s house in the afternoons when she was headed to pick my sister up from school. Minutes after she left, I would inevitably end up crying because I wanted my mom. This was long before the days of everyone having cell phones, so my Aunt Sara would get quite frustrated with me and drag me to the middle room of the house and lock me in until time for my mom to come and get me. These are the types of memories that I have of her from my childhood. None of it happy.
Not all bad…
Now, I do not believe that she was entirely a bad person. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to get to know her again as an adult. I moved back home nearly 13 years ago now, and her husband passed away around 10-11 years ago. Out of some form of familial responsibility, I went to her house before the funeral. Her living conditions were less than stellar, and frankly saddening. She lived in a doublewide trailer just up the road from her daughter, but the floors were damaged and the heat was nearly nonexistent. I will never understand how a daughter could allow her parents to live in such conditions.
I began to speak to her on the phone frequently after that, and occasionally I would stop by to visit with her. During these visits, I would often find that there were hardly any groceries in her home. I began grocery shopping and dropping by eggs, grits, cereals, milk, juices, and other things that she may mention that she liked or wished she had.
During all this time, she and I became quite close. I began to look forward to those phone calls and visits.
Some things just aren’t meant to last…
My Aunt Sara had lived a life that was filled with secrets. She had had a child as a teenager and was forced to give him up for adoption. I am forever grateful for AncestryDNA kits. Because of those, my cousin found my mom, his sisters, his brothers, and several cousins. Unfortunately, we were told that my Aunt Sara did not want to meet him. I honestly do not believe that was the case, but ultimately, she never got the opportunity to meet her wonderful first born.
Shortly after he found all of us, my cousins decided that my aunt should move out to Texas to live with her youngest daughter. As happy as I was that she would be living in much better conditions, I was so sad to find out that she would probably never move back, and would definitely never have the opportunity to meet her son.
After she moved out to Texas, I heard from her less and less, and eventually not at all.
I didn’t realize that the last time I spoke with my aunt would be the last time, but I am so grateful that we eventually built a relationship, and that I can positively say that the last conversation I ever had with her was a good one.
Rest in peace, Aunt Sara, I love you.