Monday, February 26, 2007

So, what's going on...

So much. I spent the week before last editing Belize pictures for our post-trip picture swap dinner. Then I spent all last weekend, last week, and this past weekend studying for a class final. The studying apparently paid off, and with 4 gimme points, I passed and managed to bring my average up from my midterm grade. The next class starts on Monday, but at least I have a week to not think about that stuff.

I guess that means I need to clean the house, which hasn't been done in two weeks because of working until about 7pm every night, then coming home to either study or do more work of some sort. It's a wreck, and my lovely system is out the window.

And now I've got some bug that makes it feel like someone's standing on my chest, very difficult to breath, and not fun at all. And poor Dave has thrown his back out somehow and can barely move. We're a pitiful pair right now.

And the big news is that we had a passing in the family on Saturday. Because of studying and class, I haven't been able to call a few people, so I'm very sorry for that. WaB, I should have called you, but just haven't had a chance. Anyway, my Aunt Lou died on Saturday - peacefully, in her sleep. She is really my great aunt, and she's been in homes (assisted care, then nursing) for the last few years. The last three or so were spent in a true nursing home because of her advanced Alzheimers.

So, while we are relieved that she has gone on to a better place (Look out, Uncle Frank!), I can't say it was expected. Outside of the Alzheimers, she was physically very healthy. We actually had reason to believe that she would go on for years. So, it was a shock, and even though I know it's for the best all around, it still makes me very sad.

Aunt Lou was an amazing woman with a spirit many people never have. A quick Radcliffe temper, but so loving, creative, and fun. She never had children of her own, but with 10 brothers and sisters, there were plenty of nieces and nephews to care for. And my mom and her sisters spent many great times with Aunt Lou and Uncle Frank. And then there were the great nieces and nephews, too. I loved spending time in Thomaston.

When I think of Aunt Lou, I think of many wonderful weeks and weekends. And so many other things: hammocks made out of sheets hanging from the huge trees in her front yard just for my visits, walking the railroad tracks, sleeping in the king bed between her and Uncle Frank, playing solitare, flowers, her neighbor Hazel, fried pies, fishing, eating catfish, digging up earthworms, pouring salt on slugs, swinging in the backyard, climbing the magnolia tree, walking around the block, walking to the convenience store for candy, walking to Dairy Queen for a Blizzard, pool room hamburgers, pot roast, movies at the Ritz (particularly Six Pack with Kenny Rogers), driving her red Chevette around the block to the churches and back when I was way too young to be driving, hanging out in the attic, the ice crushing "machine" she had, those ice cold bottled cokes, the Braves (where she worked for Hank Aaron), her typewriter and the way she'd type out letters and recipes. There's so much more.

With the Alzheimers, she obviously hadn't been herself in years. But there were glimpses, even recently. Last time I saw her, she was very chatty, and though most of it was gibberish, she let out a couple of "shit"s and some of her glares and exasperated tones, and those knowing grins.

I will miss her so much. I've missed her for years, but now it's real.

And I also have to give so much credit to my mom during all of this. Because Aunt Lou didn't have kids, my mom really stepped up when Uncle Frank died in 1992. She took amazing care of Aunt Lou, in spite of horrible treatment by some members of the family and often by Aunt Lou herself, who really didn't understand what was happening at the time. I hope that if the time ever comes for me to do something so generous, I can be half the woman my mom has been through the last 15 years.


galarza said...

i'm so sad about aunt lou. :( but i bet uncle frank was waiting for her on the other side.

how's granny betty?

Dave said...

Sorry to hear the news. My grandmother had Alzheimers and I know it is a very troubling illness. At least it seems you have so many very fond memories to hold on to.

Whitney said...

thanks, y'all.