I grew up shuffled around between parents and relatives. One of the constants in my life was my Aunt Connie. She eventually remarried a man we came to call Uncle Ed and they lived happily ever after - for 37-38 years. Steve and I (and our kids) spent lots of time traveling back and forth to Selma to see my aunt and uncle. They were marvelous and fun people to be around. Aunt Connie would have you in stitches the entire time were were there. She was a hoot to be around and had a personality like no one I have ever met. She was a trouble maker in a good way, a prankster, a giver, and lover and just a blast of an aunt.
One day Aunt Connie became very ill and went downhill quickly. My sister, who had been partially raised by them, and I ran to see her, love on her and embrace them both. It was a terribly disheartening situation, but we wouldn't have missed that last little bit of time we had with her. Uncle Ed wasn't healthy either, but he stayed by Aunt Connie's side the entire time. I can't tell you how much we enjoyed the visit. It was a blessing to be able to be there even for a bit.
When Aunt Connie passed away, we stayed in touch with Uncle Ed while he was home; I am sure not as often as we should, but the pain he was in when we did talk to him was obvious, he was lonely, broken hearted and it made us wonder if we were hurting him more by calling him instead of letting him heal. Oh, one of us called at least every week or so, but we didn't call daily. His family kept tabs on him, and in a bit of time, they decided to have an estate sale and put him in assisted living home - which we do believe was a good choice. He needed proper care, food cooked for him and out of the home they knew and loved - which was stuffed with wonderful memories, but also huge amounts of work, and not near family who could oversee his needs. He needed change. We agreed with that move entirely.
We were notified, by a relative, of the estate sale (which we might have loved to shop at - not paw through) on Tuesday before it started a day or so later. There was no way to plan a quick trip and absolutely no definite time the sale was to start. Just "its happening", basically.
We dealt with it. I cried. Memories that I loved would also be sold at that sale.
Then Uncle Ed was moved to a facility near family. No name. Heck, not even a city! You see, I never knew *his* family as they lived in another place. I had only met them once or twice in all the years I went there. We were just told he "was moved and is safe".
I asked for a phone number to call him. "They don't want you to have his phone number, something about he can't hear..."
I asked for an address to send a card. "I will ask if you can have one." "They don't want an address given out."
I ask how he is doing. "Oh, he is ok..."
I ask for a number to call his kids. "I will get it..." but no one answers the numbers we were given.
I am sure this was difficult on the people sharing this tiny bit of information because I can only assume they were really put on a spot.
It has been well over a year since I have heard jack squat about Uncle Ed because those vague answers and evasion tactics simply hurt deeply. I have never, ever hurt the man, I have not stolen from him like his own son did, I have fought for him and Aunt Connie when his son *did* steal from them. I am only ever guilty of loving him deeply, very, very deeply.
Why are we kept out of his life? I don't get it. *I* have never done anything except love them unconditionally.
The hurt is deep. The missing him during his transition was deeper. I couldn't hear his voice, I can't send him a card, I can't share these precious pics of them. There is anger, there is disbelief - but mostly there is a deep sadness and sense of loss. I don't understand at all. I have no concept of what happened. None. Nada.
How many elderly people are tucked away in a home and led to believe no one on earth is left that cares for them? Is this why?
So as I am sitting here sifting through memories through tears, but I can only hope he is ok.
So here ya go, please enjoy a few pics of some of the most precious people on earth:
Just an aunt and an uncle who happened to be some of the most important in my life. I lost not one, the day I lost my Aunt Connie, but I lost both.
When someone dies, you just never know who else you will lose in that process - and probably won't have a clue as to why.
I was never the 'bad guy'. Never.