sad news

I am very sorry to share the news that my aunt passed away over the weekend.  Aunt Mary was my only aunt by blood (rather than marriage; Madame Mommy Dearest‘s only sister), as well as my godmother & a fellow Scorpio.  And she could be so funny & so much fun! :img25

 photo Mary2012 1_zpsa6d7sbmq.jpg
One of the last decent pictures of Aunt Mary. (2012)

Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at the age of 27, suffering with the disease for over 30 years.  It took everything from her, forcing her to live inside a body she couldn’t control for the majority of her life before stealing a great deal of her mind, too.

Aunt Mary always downplayed how bad things were, wanting us to believe she was doing better than she was…but of course, we knew. And she began to go downhill drastically over the past few years, as we could all tell from our phone conversations with her & the letters she still struggled to write.

Just last week, Madame Mommy Dearest & one of her brothers drove to Mary’s hospice in Schenectady, NY, to visit her one last time.  I guess it was awful.  We all knew she was in bad shape, but I’m not sure anyone realized just how bad that shape was.  She was completely bedridden, barely able to move or even hold her head up on her own; she’d lost so much weight, she was nothing but skin & bones; she was almost completely blind & could barely even speak; & she must have been in terrible pain because she continually asked for more medication, even though they would only give it to her every seven hours.  (Why she wasn’t on a morphine drip, I have no idea. :img36 )

When MMD & her brother returned, my uncle said he didn’t expect Mary to make it to the Fourth of July…but after seeing the pictures they’d taken during their visit, I knew she wouldn’t make it nearly that long.  And sure enough, two days after they returned, we got the call that Aunt Mary had passed away.

We are all terribly sad…& yet we’re also incredibly grateful.  Mary suffered far too long & far too much; it’s a blessing for her to no longer be in pain, trapped in a life that lacked even a hint of joy. :img22

Thankfully, I have a few wonderful memories of being with her, like the times Gram & Gramp would bring her to stay at their house for a couple of weeks & I would go up, too.  We would have double birthday parties (both early November, both Scorpios :img13 ) & I would push her in her wheelchair downtown where we would window shop the local stores & have ice cream sundaes at an old Murphy’s department store. :img8  She always wanted me to put makeup on her, especially lipstick, & I would tease her about having no lips… (I’m sorry, but she didn’t!  It was nearly impossible to put lipstick on them!) …& she would tease me about my outlandish crush on Johnny Depp.

But Aunt Mary was also quite particular; she didn’t like people touching/moving her things or hovering, so she insisted on living far away from the rest of the family, & even when her health started to get worse, she refused to move (or allow us to move her) closer. Even when the time came that she had to be moved into a home/hospice, she refused to go to one closer to any of her brothers or sister, so none of us were able to visit her as often as we might have liked.  We had to rely on phone calls, & toward the end MMD & I both made a point of sending a card or note every day so she would receive something in the mail each day.

I’m not sure yet what arrangements the family will make for her funeral, so if posts here (as well as on Facebook & Twitter) are sporadic or I seem a little distracted, you’ll know why. :img21


17 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. flchen1 says:

    Heidi, I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your Aunt Mary–she sounds like a beautiful, strong woman, even if her body didn’t choose sometimes to let that show on the outside. May you and your family enjoy all your lovely memories of her–thank you for sharing some of them with us!

    • Heidi says:

      Thank you, Fedora! She was strong…she certainly lasted longer with the disease than I would have; I think I’d have wheeled myself in front of a bus long ago if I’d been in her shoes. :img22

  2. Mary Kirkland says:

    I’m so very sorry for your loss.

  3. DebraG says:

    I am so sorry for your loss.

  4. Mina Gerhart says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Heidi,
    Mindy 🙂

  5. Sharon S. says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Heidi! It’s very hard dealing with losing a loved one. My Mom passed away in January and I’m still dealing with it. The good news is they have left us with Wonderful memories.
    God Be With You,

    • Heidi says:

      Thank you, Sharon! I’m sorry for your loss, as well. I know how hard it is to lose a parent; I honestly think it took almost 10yrs for me to even *begin* to recover from my father’s passing, so let it take as long as it takes. {{HUGS}}

  6. Dee says:

    I am very sorry for your loss. My thought are with you and your family.

  7. cinnamon chaisson says:

    so sorry for your loss, Heidi! sending you lots of hugs <3

  8. Hollie says:

    So very sorry for your loss!
    Tears of sadness for the family she left behind..but smiles for the family member on the other side who are having an awesome party because she has arrived!
    Giant hugs Heidi!! <3

    • Heidi says:

      Thank you, Hollie! Boy, you’ve got that right. Aunt Mary & my gram (her mother) were extremely close, so they’re sure to be happy to be together again. And as I said, she’d suffered long enough.

      It’s sad to know she’s no longer around, to not be able to pick up the phone or drop a note in the mail to her…but knowing she’s *not* suffering any longer is a blessing.

  9. Brooke C says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Heidi. My thoughts are with you and your family.

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