Nostalgic Tears

© west7megan - Fotolia.comI’m crying like a big blubbering baby this morning. My Aunt died yesterday. An Aunt I haven’t seen in over 15 years. It wasn’t sudden. She was very sick, but I guess it’s what it represents that has me in a puddle.

On the surface I struggled with the decision of whether to drive the 3 hours to her service. In the end, with Homer working this weekend and the kids needing to complete projects for school on Monday, I decided not to go. It’s a logical decision but one that makes my heart hurt. In some respects I would feel a little hypocritical. Like I said, I haven’t seen her in years, who am I to just show up like the big hero from the big city and start blubbering now? It’s not like I was never in her area to visit. I’d thought about it many times over the years, it could’ve been done, I just didn’t and I have no excuse. I loved her, she was a kind woman who deserves the best of a final tribute and I’m sorry I’m not going to be there for her two sons, my cousins, whom I miss immensely even though it seems we barely know each other anymore.

And cue the tears. Over the years our entire family has dissolved. Meeting for Sunday dinners, playing catch in the backyard and hide and seek in the basement over time just disintegrated.  It all started with one untimely death, and then another and another.

Our fathers were brothers, good guys with hearts of gold who died of a family heart condition too young, leaving those two boys, my sister and I devastated. We all grew apart, got married and had our own families. We no longer had any reason to get together, busy with kids and life and let’s face it our own lack of effort. We don’t get together to share memories, break bread and catch up we just simply moved on and when I think about it my heart breaks.

I’ll be honest, for years I’ve miss those boys, those people who share half my heritage. I was proud to be a Medd, so proud that I refused to change my name when I was married because my father (having had two girls) didn’t have anyone to carry on the name on his behalf. Plus, I secretly think he wanted me to be a boy.

I did my tomboy best, I rode mini bikes and snowmobiles, but it was on those Sunday visits when those two cousins would take me outside and teach me the proper way to catch a baseball or shoot a puck when I felt special and a part of something. I would have followed them anywhere and in some cases I did. I went to their hockey games because I just wanted to see them, even if we didn’t get the chance to talk. A quick wave from the ice was enough for me to feel connected.

So today I guess I’m mourning the loss of that connection. I’m mourning the little girl in me who misses her family, Sunday dinners and specifically her cousins. I feel extreme pain for them in the loss of their wonderful, loving mother and wish them all the peace that comes with knowing she is no longer suffering.  And I’m hopeful for a future meeting of the Medds’ at a place other than a funeral home where we can once again break bread, get through the awkward silences and get to know each other again.

Peace out Aunt Sheila, thanks for all the Sunday roasts.