I didn’t sleep much, or peacefully, the many times I dozed off last night because yesterday was a bit of a strained day for me and I couldn’t shake off the residual feelings of the day. First off, I had to be up early for an appointment with one of my specialists. That meant I had a lot of anxiety the night before, and while getting ready in the morning, because getting anywhere on time these days is difficult for me. If I have to wake up early for an appointment, I don’t get a good night’s sleep because I feel anxious about the possibility that I might oversleep and miss it altogether. Then getting showered and dressed, even though I checked the weather report and had an outfit picked out, is a major production that always takes longer than any amount of lead-time I give myself to get out the door allows. I keep hoping that I’ll finally figure out the right ratio of time I need depending on the level of pain I’m feeling on a given day, but for now I’ll have to live with the crapshoot that I might get to where I’m going on time.
However, my early morning appointment wasn’t the only thing that made it such a difficult day for me. Yesterday was the birthday of my great-aunt M. She passed away about 15 years ago after a long battle with cancer. She was a sweet, caring woman. Everyone who knew her loved and respected her. Even though she was my grandmother’s sister, my great-aunt M and I had a closer relationship. She was one of the few people in my life whose love and affections I never had to question, and I miss her terribly.
Throughout my life, Auntie M was a positive presence who always did things to make me feel special. Because she lived overseas, I didn’t see her often but I did have opportunities to spend time with her during long visits over summer vacations and other holidays and she always worked to sustain a significant presence in my life. When I was a child, she would send me packages with a mixture of toys, clothes, and sweet treats. I loved opening those gifts and seeing the pretty things she had taken her time to pick out just for me. As I grew older, Auntie M wrote me letters and sent me cards that always arrived on time for my birthday and holidays, and there were her phone calls just to say hello.
As much as I miss my Auntie M, I know I should be relieved that she’s not suffering anymore from such a long, terrible illness. Because it wasn’t possible to celebrate her birthday with her yesterday or chat with her to hear her reassure me that everything will be fine the way she used to; I spent my sleepless time doing things to distract myself from my currently hard to cope with life and sadness. I like the way this piece turned out and I’d like to think it turned out so well because Auntie M was helping me to steady my pen like she used to support me when she was alive.