Here's a throw back picture of Aunt Mary and I ice Skating on the bay in front of her house. (Circa 1992?)
Aunt Mary is my dad's sister. I have an 'older' dad therefore my aunt has always been a tad bit more like a grandma to me on my dad's side of the family. I never got the chance to meet my dad's mom, but I have had the opportunity to have a wonderful relationship with my aunt--one that feels grandmotherly. Aunt Mary and Uncle Lee only live two doors down from my parents house. I've always loved this--so easy to visit, at any time, just a short walk away.
As I've gotten a bit older I've noticed how deep and wonderful our relationship has become. I've learned a lot about my dad from her along with my grandma I never met. I love my chats with her because what is intended to be a short quick visit usually turns into a long and meaningful one. I know I'll treasure these conversations forever.
I think I love our time together because I've always felt like my aunt and I have a lot in common. We share similar personalities, we both struggle with anxiety, we both prefer peace over confrontation, I believe we are both fairly 'gentle' in spirit and dedicated in relationship. My dad often makes mention of things he sees in me that remind him of his sister... and I always smile.
We may be similar in some ways, but in most ways she far surpasses who I am. You see my aunt Mary is the nicest, sweetest and most loving person I know. She is always invested in me, always curious about my well being, my health, my life... She truly loves unselfishly.
This past summer we discovered that my aunt has cancer.
With each additional test I believed we would hear news that a mistake had been made and that no cancer was found. Turns out that's not how this world works. My aunt is easily the absolute least deserving person of cancer in this world. I promise you. Yes, that is a bold statement and yes it's true.
I'm not sure I'll ever understand how bad things happen to good people, but I do know that this world is unfair. I do know that some days on this earth aren't friendly, and that there never were any rules given to this life. But what I also know is that God's love for each and every one of us holds the promise of something better--of something more beautiful, of something solid and unfaltering.
Aunt Mary-- I want you to know how amazing you are. You are so very important to me. I'm so sorry that you have to go through this. I'm sorry that life picked you for this battle. I'm sorry that life had to be interrupted by something so nasty. I'm sorry I'm not living just two doors away from you right now, and I'm sorry that we all can't just make you better.
Aunt Mary I love you. You are my VIP.