A lot has changed since I last posted. Here’s a bulleted list:
- I’m back in Chicago and living with my mom (shoot me in the face)
- I’m a part-time mom of 2.5 (LOL, the .5 shall be explained a little further down)
- I’m not pursuing a library science degree
And a lot is still the same. Here’s that bulleted list:
- I’m unemployed…still
- I’m applying to grad school (yes again, but for a different program at a different school)
- I’m fecking awesome, but…you knew that, right?
Mmkay, so here’s the sitch. Back in January around the time of the Inauguration I was in Maryland visiting my friend M. Logging into The Faysebuk, I saw my cousin T post a status update saying “pray for us”. Immediately my spidey senses began to tingle because a) T is rarely on FB and 2) she never posts anything super personal. So I scrolly scrolly down a bit and I see my uncle E post that his family is seeking prayers because his lil big sis (my auntie P) has been admitted to the ICU. I call my cousin D immediately and she doesn’t answer. I call my mom and she gives me the details of the situation. It was really bad.
Feeling impotent from 800+ miles away, I immediately headed to Kayak looking for a one way ticket home. Granted there wasn’t much I COULD do while home, but it would give me much more comfort to be within touching distance of my family while we were going through this crisis. So I’m looking for flights home, making teary phone calls to friends both home and in MD, and my cousin D calls me. She has been with my auntie P since the first admittance to the hospital so she gives me ALL of the details. I ask her how soon I need to come home and she tells me I should be on the next thing smoking.
Let me pause for a second to tell you about my cousin D. She isn’t a very emotional person. She’s usually the one with the most level head who employs logic before letting her emotions overrule. When I was talking to her and she told me about the night she spend in the hospital with my aunt I had to double check who I was talking to. Her voice was constricted and raw, trembling and heaving at points. I had NEVER heard her sound like this. EVER. So immediately, I was seized by fear and preparing myself for the worst.
I reached Chicago at close to eleven pm on Saturday, January 19. Huge shout out to the homie T for picking me up from the airport and driving me straight to the hospital. I reached my fam in the ICU and was taken in to see my aunt. I spent more time prepping to enter the room than I spent in the actual room with her. I couldn’t face her this way. That person lying in that bed was not my aunt. It was her physical form, but I could feel that the life was seeping from her.
We spent the next four days in that hospital, holding vigils…hoping for a hail mary pass to bring her back to us. I have never prayed so hard for something in my entire life. You see, my aunt was only 42. She was a mother of three (aged 24 [the .5],17,8) and a grandmother of one. She was a thorn in my side and my biggest advocate. She was the life of the party who we always wanted to be seated next to at family events because she always had some shit to talk. She kept a smile on my face with her silly comments, irrepressible humor and annoying phone calls. I’m sure if you know me outside of this internet shit, you’ve heard me complain about my aunt calling me to borrow some cash. But damnit if I wouldn’t give anything to hear her calling my phone just one more time.
With the death of my aunt, I have started to shoulder some of the responsibilities of helping raise her kids. She was their entire world and losing her will have lasting impacts. So between myself, her oldest son and the rest of our family, we’re raising a 17 year old girl and 8 year old boy. For me, it requires a great deal of patience. They are so used to doing things in the manner in which their mother did, but there are some adjustments that had to be made. It’s gonna be a long road, but I’m making sure that I do my best to be there for them in every way I can be.
It’s hard because I can’t do everything I want to do, but I’m trying my best. There is no way I can connect with them on the level of losing a parent (and for the oldest and youngest BOTH parents), but I am promising to dedicate my time, effort and energy to let them know that I am here. And I am not going anywhere.