Some of you who are long-time friends and/or Facebook pals may know about the passing of my much -loved Auntie B. I have spoken of her a time or two within these walls.
Auntie B. was was diagnosed with Brain Cancer in October of 2009. At the time, her doctors told us that it was terminal, usually within 3 years of diagnosis. This type of cancer, called Glioblastoma Metaform, was very aggressive. Auntie B. underwent the surgery to excise the softball-sized tumor a few days after her initial onset of symptoms. She made it through the surgery very well, and amazed us with her strong recovery. She was never one to moan about things -- she just put on her game face and got out there and got it done.
She was well enough to travel to San Francisco in May/June of 2010 for my brother's wedding. In fact, if it had not have been for her masterminding basically the whole trip, I'm sure it would have been a much different experience for my family. Auntie B. was lucky to marry into wealth, and she was very generous with the people she loved. Not only in monetary ways, but with love and affection, and her time and attention. She rented all but two rooms of an entire bed-and-breakfast in Cloverdale, California for our family for the wedding.
It was a wonderful trip -- we got to travel, spend time with family, and were able to share in my brother's special day. Auntie B. was happy. I was glad to see her looking so well . We got to talk, sitting out on the back porch at the inn, watching the sun shine down on the vineyards that surrounded us. We laughed. At was a wonderful time for us all.
Our luck was not to last, however. Scarcely a month later, her doctors would tell her that the tumor had returned, and was almost as large as the original tumor. "Letting it go" was not an option. She had another surgery, but this time, there was no bouncing back. She went home in a wheelchair, and never left it. She lost her battle on November 7th, barely a year later.
I miss her. I always will. I got a chance to visit her in early August before the second surgery, but then time slipped away from me. I had commitments -- work, school, Girl Scouts.... and I never got to see her again. I constantly scold myself that I should have MADE time, but I thought that it wouldn't come so soon. That there would be more days. And then -- there weren't.
I have always been petrified of death. I don't want to think about my life coming to a close; about no longer being and breathing. I start to slowly panic when I think about my lifespan being a finite thing. It scares me to my core. But, I have come to have a greater tolerance for it, because I know that Auntie B. will be one of the people waiting there for me. When my time comes, as it must to us all, I will hold out my hand, and feel hers within it once more.
Rest until then, Auntie B. I miss you, every day. I will be so happy to see you again.