Monday, April 30, 2012

Life Goes On

With images and thoughts of my aunt Loretta ever-present,
top right and left corners,
her grandkids and I enjoyed being together in Charlotte.
Roz and husband Christopher and Roz's brother Dan, center;
cruising in Christopher's shiny blue corvette; having coffee at
Dan's coffee house, Dilworth  The NC license plate belongs to Roz,
a therapist who specializes in psychological testing.
"Mindbender" seemed an appropriate theme
for our time together this weekend,
 as my mom's sister lay dying.

I said goodbye to my Aunt Loretta, who's under hospice care at Serenity House in Morrisville, NC, just outside of Charlotte.  She is thin as a rail, frail and sleeping a lot now.  She hasn't eaten in days. She knew I was there;we shared some photos I had brought, briefly; I think it was okay, but that's it.  She is letting go.  She just said "I want to go.  I am ready." And fell back asleep.  Her granddaughter Kris goes almost daily or every other day.  The next time I visited with Roz and Dan she was glad to see her grandchildren and she knew I was there, but it almost didn't matter.  After some fumbling around, trying to get comfortable, struggling to keep her eyes open, she said something like, "Oh Fran, what can I say?"  I said, "You don't have to say anything, Aunt Loretta. I just want to be here with you for a little while." I don't even think she could hear.  The nurse came in to get her more comfortable, and she fell asleep.  We left the hospice home a little while later.

It is weird watching someone die, having a sort of death watch. Any day now. The person is going, but life goes on.  I stayed with Roz and Christopher, at their lovely home, went for rides in his beautiful bright blue corvette, shopped with them, went out for dinner, had a delicious steak cookout.  I was happy to spend time with Roz's sister Kristen and her husband Tommy and Roz's brother Dan, who is a CPA and owns a coffee shop, Dilworth, a lovely place for coffee, cake and a nice chat.  Christopher took me to the Apple store and helped me get my first ipodtouch, worked with me on using it and uploading music, and is helping me set up a good sound system, one of his many interests and specialties.

I had a good time in Charlotte, even as my dear aunt lay dying.  It was a little emotionally exhausting, but it was also a joyful time with extended family doing happy family things.

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