My maternal great-aunt just turned 90 last week. She called me tonight. It hurt her to talk--the digestive tract problems she's been enduring are affecting her throat. She's going into hospice later this week, and wanted me to know. I'm very glad she told me. A lot of people on both sides of my family keep others in the dark--I mean, I found out my paternal aunt was dying in a parenthetical aside my other paternal aunt wrote in a Christmas card, for fuck's sake. So I'm glad she told me herself. I'm glad she could. I know what "hospice" means, though, especially if she's willing to go.
Sometimes I wish I believed in heaven or could say with any confidence I knew an afterworld existed. She lost her husband 3 years ago. She lost her nephew, my grandfather, 6 years ago. That's how we got to know each other--he wanted my mother and I to let her know what was going on with him. We just barely knew the other one existed before. She says she's going to join them soon and I shouldn't feel sad for her. I hate that kind of talk on so many levels. But I'm not going to try and talk a sick old woman out of her comfort, no way. I just really wish those kind of thoughts weren't where she was finding her comfort. I wish she could be looking forward to things right here on Earth, but I know she can't.
I'm really glad we spent Christmas Eve with her in Michigan last year, even though her daughter annoyed us some. We knew she wasn't doing well then. She tried to be cheerful, but you only needed eyes *or* ears to know better, not even both. L'Ailee said, "Of course we need to go to her funeral." I'm glad she said that, too, but I don't want to discuss those particular travel arrangements until I have to.
I was going to blog about random shit tonight, probably another list of bullet points. About stuff in the news, NYC and worldwide. About Earth Day coming up. About songs I'm thinking of for belly-dancing. About playing street hockey and my 9-year-old "niece" being cute again. About the NHL playoffs and another rained-out race. This kinda knocked all that out of my head. I'm going to try looking at pandas and the National Zoo's baby bears--that association between cute "teddy bears" and sleep helps me sometimes. I know this is totally depressing and I didn't even know her that long, but I think banging it out here may help me a little, too. I can't take this feeling to work tomorrow. If you actually read this, thanks for indulging me.