Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Decoupage in Heaven

My aunt passed away last night, five months after a freak accident robbed her of her sight and her mind.

I know it's a blessing that she's passed. She'd hate to have known that for the last few months she's been languishing in a hospital bed, making no sense, unable to see, unable to communicate, unable to do anything for herself. It's also a relief for my uncle, who's been racing around from hospital to nursing home to doctors and home again to feed their little dog clinging to every glimmer of hope. He's understandably devestated - but philosophical as well.

Of course - Mum had something to do with her passing. She visited early last night, dropping into the hospital to say goodbye. Once again, the bone was pointed, her duty done, my aunt took heed and passed away quietly a few hours later.

I'm not sure I'd like to have Mum's gift - I prefer to know I can get rid of headaches with the flick of a thumb and a nod of the head. That's a slightly more sociable talent than Mum's, though I know hers is an honor.Also, coming from a family of doctors, nurses and priests, death is ingrained as a part of time - nothing to get upset about, it's all a part of life. What they fail to admit is that it's a part of life that hurts those who are left behind.

Now it's just the wait to find out when the funeral is and fly back to Adelaide.

My third quick interstate trip in a month.

And I'm sitting here a bit numb. I'm okay, just that things are a bit foggy.

I found out about this at work just before lunch. Not that I'm frantic at work, but I have stuff to do - but it was hard to keep my mind on things. Luckily, drawing process maps is something that doesn't require that much contentration.

Lunch consisted of a long walk and some macarons. Macarons fix most things. Unfortunately, it didn't quite clear the fuzzy head, but it did take a little of the edge off.

I left work a bit early after my last meeting. Not much point being there as I felt like a lump. I wasn't blubbering, I wasn't screaming, I wasn't ranting - though the urge to deck the Wesley nob from another department was still there -  but that is normal. If anything, I'm was just sitting there quietly not concentrating at the meeting to hand - all I wanted to do was get outside and walk. Which fifteen minutes later, I did. Til it started to rain. So I got the tram back home instead. Walking would have been nice under the circumstances.

Mum's okay. My aunt wasn't my real aunt - she's my mum's best friend. They were each other's bridemaids, my aunt did the duty twice for my Mum. They went through nursing school together. Mum continued nursing for many years, my aunt had to give it up after it did her back in. If this had happened today she would have been on compo for life with a lucrative lawsuit sorting out the incompetent surgeon who really stuffed her back over early in the piece.

There's heaps I could tell you about my aunt. She was one of the most irrascible people you'd ever know. Adelaide Establishment, from the very right side of the tracks. Dux of her school, she could have been a doctor, but chose nursing. Loving mother of two, loving grandmother of two. Very in with the right people, stalwart of the community. She would never be seen without her string of beads, bright button earrings and her bright pink lipstick. If she'd been allowed to grow into old age, I'm sure she'd give Lady Bracknell a run for her money.

I'm going to gloss over the chronic pain she was in that could turn her from somebody rational and caring to an utter harpy. At times, her use of painkillers appeared to be to her detriment - and I don't think anybody could understand the pain she was in  - ever. I know it disturbed my mother - but my mother has never been in physical pain for more than a few days. My aunt had forty years of it.

And now she's gone. I know I'm not a Christian, but I like to think that we go somewhere else when we die - that God or whatever it is up there has a plan. And I know that she's up there now sourcing out some small paper scissors and other things to start decoupaging once again and checking out the local coffee shops for a decent cappucino and cucumber sandwiches. Poor old St Peter aint gonna have an easy time with her. She's in the bucket with my Grandmother - branded a stroppy woman - watch out, St Peter - she's going to give you hell if the lamingtons are stale.

I say this with the greatest affection. In spite of the fact that my aunt could be somewhat difficult at times, I owe her and my uncle a great deal.

My aunt and uncle provided a safe haven in my late teenage years. They gave me a place to go when my own family situation was unbearable. They gave me love and support when there was nobody about to give me any. They bolstered me up when things were horrible and made a very lost, very lonely, very unhappy young woman a sense of place. I remember going through my childhood wishing they were my parents. They've often called me the daughter they didn't get as neither of their children went on to university - something I know they would have loved - among other things.

You can't thank a person enough for that.

I'm crying now.

As there's nothing of fur or flesh to cuddle around here (possum in the roof doesn't count and I don't think it's that cuddly), it's off to do the next best thing. Interval sprints.While watching Masterchef.

The treadmill will hopefully soothe away the fuzzies before tomorrow dawns.

Bless you, Aunty Gaye. Now that your suffering is over, I hope you find some real peace - it's been too long in coming.

They gym awaits.


(Normal transmission will be back in the next few days - I bounce back pretty quickly)


Anonymous said...

What a woman. Wish you
comfort during such sad times.

Chloe said...

All my love, thoughts and prayers are with you along with some massive hugs, take gentle care of you xox