oranges

Not the kind of fruit you want used to describe a tumor. Particularly an inoperable brain tumor.
Blueberries possibly, or maybe even a plum. But an orange seems so ominous.

No I do not have one, but Shaun’s aunt does.
To be honest this is an aunt I barely know. I have met her a few times, but she is the one the family doesn’t usually like to talk about.
We all have those family members. The ones that don’t make the proudly displayed family photos or isn’t usually on the Christmas card mailing list.

And their stories break your heart.
This one has a 14 year old daughter with her own heartbreaking stories.
But they don’t stop here.
My friend is dealing with an addicted and mentally ill sibling.
Another is caregiver to an ill mother in law.
Another’s cousin is a convicted criminal.
My mom supported and cared for her brother who dabbled in all kinds of things that didn’t usually come up at the dinner table.

But this is family.
Mine and Yours.

Sometimes it is easy to see that person on the street. The one with the sign.
And not look them in the eye.
And to keep driving.
We don’t want to think that they are someone’s mom, or daughter.
That they have made choices that lead them down this path.
And maybe they have.
And maybe they haven’t.
But most have a story that could so easily wind into anyone’s family tree.

So when I got to the hospital a few weeks ago.
I decided to go in. It wasn’t really part of the plan. I was just supposed to get my kids and go on my way.
But Shaun’s mom’s sister, became my aunt.
And her daughter needed to become my cousin.
They need to be mine.
This girl needed a family.
And well, she really already had one. We just needed to remember.

3 comments:

Margie said...

What an opening to this post. What a sad post, but good reminder about what we do for family.

Alyssa said...

Very poignant and powerful.

Sarah said...

Strong work, M. I never thought of it quite like that, but that's exactly how it is. It gave me pause.