My Aunt Helen died early this morning, from cancer that had spread throughout her body.
Technically she was my father’s aunt, not mine, but we all called her by that name. I never even knew her last name until about three or four years ago, when I started sending her postcards from my travels abroad. She was always just “Aunt Helen” to us.
I remember the family trips to visit her and Uncle Kelly, typically in January. My sister and I would grumble about going to visit them, wasting a perfectly good Saturday where we’d otherwise do nothing, only to sit in a room straight out of the 60s for a few hours, uncomfortable as two kids could be. Aunt Helen and Uncle Kelly would each slip us a few dollars when the other wasn’t looking, hushing us up to not mention anything to the other. And so we’d sit, as Aunt Helen’s dentures would clack away and she’d go on in her shrill voice.
It was sad, to hear this morning as I met my parents for brunch. We were on our way to visit her, expecting it to be the last time we would see her alive. To think that she slipped from this world just a few hours ahead of us…