Sunday, March 06, 2016

Goodbye Aunt Elsie

"I'm thirsty,” Aunt Elsie said. I took her hand in mine. I lifted the covers off her legs and pulled her legs over the side of the bed and then helped her sit up. There was little difference in the thickness of her legs and thighs. Her facial skin cellophaned itself around her jaw bone. I removed the glass of 7 Up from the little black table by her bed and handed it to her. She cupped the glass in her right hand and only took a small sip. She pushed the glass forward for me to take. I took it and handed her a Kleenex.
She put her left hand down and I helped her lie down. Her son, Mickio, came and helped cover her. I knelt down next to the bed and held her hand.
"Who do you want to meet you when you cross over?" I asked. "Your parents, my mom, Lucia, and your other sisters?"
She thought for a moment. "My mom and dad," she said. Her gaze went inward. Her pupils were large. A bright blue ring surrounded them. "I'm having a hard time remembering what my mom looked like," she said.
"You were only 7 or 8 when she died," I said.
I stroked her head. She closed her eyes and went to sleep.
I went into the living room to talk with Mickio. He complained about how much money he was spending on his daughter.
"Your words are complaining but you face is full of pride." I said.
A smile beamed on his face. "Ya, I am proud of her," he said.
It wasn't long before I had to leave to catch the train. I went into the den where Aunt Elsie was sleeping. I got down on both knees to get close to her face. She opened her eyes.
"I love you, Aunt."
"I love you too," she said. "Tell Denise that I love her too."
I stood up, leaned over, and kissed her cheek. "I have to go. Good Bye. I love you, Aunt," I said
"I Love you too," she said. "Drive safe."
I let go of her hand, stroked her head one last time and walked out.

Aunt Elsie is my mother's younger sister. She died on March 6, 2016