June 2, 1984...Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, School Friends, Family Friends, Nana and Pa, A Few High School Teachers all in attendance. My parents had supplied a keg and my family and friends were all taking part. Uncle Dave was singing, Dad had had a few too many, Mom was making sure everyone had what they needed- scurrying about the kitchen, some folks were starting to take off, but the in crowd was just settling in for the evening. It was my high school graduation party.
The phone rang. It was my Aunt calling from the hospital. My grandmother had taken a bad turn and we needed to come, now. My friends and family stayed to clean up and we took off, up to the city, my mother and father and I (my mother drove). We arrived before she died, her other sons were in the area outside of the elevators as we emerged. My aunt, her only daughter, was in the room with her. We took turns saying goodbye. We waited. And eventually headed home. My father hit the elevator walls and cried- the only time I have ever seen him cry.
Lung cancer. She coughed for months and months and refused to go to the doctor. And then she did. Stage IV. It wasn't much longer before her lungs collapsed and she died.
I never visited her in the hospital, too busy with high school and graduating. We spent many summers together in her family cabin. She invited me to come stay with her at her apartment and I never did. Too late now.
This April, I'll be participating for the first time in Relay for Life.
Please contribute to our team, Friends For The Fight, if you can. Thanks!