Sunday, January 18, 2015
As I held the gold iPhone in my hand, memories, wonderful memories, played in the theater of my mind. Remembrances of a meeting, too long in the making, made me laugh, cry, rejoice, and thank my Creator for His graciousness in allowing me to meet my aunt Joan. They made me smile with gratitude and appreciation.
My father's mother had five children, three girls, and two boys. The girls she dropped on the doorstep of their father, my uncle was left with my great grand parents, and my father, well, my father's fate was much worse. She kept him.
My dad grew up basically on his own, in Catholic boarding school in New Orleans, and kept, much of the time, from his family.
One example of how that woman "cared" for the child that was to become my father, was horrific. What she revealed deepened my understanding as to why my father was a very hands off parent, for the most part.
When she went to work my father was left in a play pen. A neighbor from downstairs would come up every four hours to change his diaper and give him a bottle. It's scene I can't bear to imagine, and I attempt to bury it in a section deep within my soul from which it cannot easily emerge.
My dad's four siblings were only flashes of memories, here and there, for him. As he spoke of the sadness he felt my heart was crushed for the broken man that raised my brothers and me.
I met his sister, Joan, several time as a child, but came to know her, to bond with her, as an adult when my Dad and I took off on a road trip to see her.
She was crying when we met that hot August day in South Carolina, with tears of joy. She was beautiful, kind, smart, funny as heck, and broken as well by the tearing of her family.
I watched my Dad's eyes as they welled with tears when his older sister spoke, as she told us story after story. A bond formed that day, walls were removed, and the longing of the hearts of siblings to be together melted.
I pressed the icon on my phone for my Aunt Joan. As expected, she didn't answer. I've changed my phone number, and had not yet given it to her. Minutes later I received a call. It wasn't my aunt, but my cousin, her son.
I instantly began to cry, not a tear here and there, but a convulsive, overwhelming cry. I knew the words he would speak would not be words I wanted to hear. Through my tears I begged him, pleaded with him, to tell my Aunt, when she is lucid, of my undying love for her, and the joy our relationship had brought into my life
My Aunt, now 80, is incredibly sick and has been hospitalized. With respect for her privacy, I won't write of the afflictions she faces. Reality is reality. I know from our conversations, she has wanted for years to be with my uncle rejoicing beside him in the Heavens.
As I type this my phone is at my side. I'm waiting for my cousin, that I've only seen once, to text, or call, me with an update. The longer I wait, the more heavy my heart becomes.
But with the sadness I feel, there is also a wonderful feeling of excitement growing within my heart. It's a feeling of being able to finally connect with my cousin, one I was never allowed to meet.
With my eyes constantly watching my phone, and my mind wandering, I can't come up with a way to end this post except to say, "Make that call." Don't allow time to steal what you could have had all along.
With much love,