Today (April 23rd) is my birthday. I took this photo of myself this morning before I met my cousins M.E. and K.
We headed over to The Club to get 1/2-hour massages, and then went to Fresh Starts (Yum!!) for my birthday lunch. All in all, a lovely birthday.
And then it turned bittersweet . . .
I returned from Egypt on Tuesday, and my cousin, M.E. came over on Wednesday (my recovery day) to have lunch and catch up. She let me know that my aunt was not doing well and didn't have long. While I was away, she had stopped eating and drinking, and had gone a couple of weeks without food or water. In other words, she was actively dying.
And so after lunch, M.E. and I got in the car and went over to see her. When I got there, her son (another of my cousins) said that she had waited for me. She might have. She was unconscious and looked much different from the last time I had seen her. The hospice doctor happened to come by while we were there, and he advised that she had days rather than weeks. That was Wednesday.
Today, Saturday, as we were finishing up my birthday lunch, we got the call that she had just passed away. The rest of my day was spent over at the house, helping with a variety of things that her sons needed help with.
When someone is old (nearly 90) and has been so very ill and in major pain for some time, there is a sense of relief when their suffering is done. I will miss her, but I am glad she does not hurt anymore. She was quite a character - and I'm working on her eulogy now. I'm the writer in the family and when someone dies, I am the one the family turns to to write about them and deliver their eulogy. I'll write more about her after her funeral next Saturday.
Her passing means that I'm pretty much the matriarch of my clan now . . . an interesting development (on a significant birthday, no less) - I'm not quite sure how I feel about it.