Aunt Laura

25 Jul


When I was an infant, or thereabouts, young enough to be spending nights trapped inside the confines of a baby’s crib, I found it necessary, on at least one occasion, to break free of both my sleeping station and the apartment that housed it.

I like to think of this as the first time I ran away from home.

After making my way to the living room and out the door I crawled up a flight of stairs to the apartment above ours and scratched at the door until somebody let me in.

The person who welcomed me in that pre-dawn hour was my mother’s brother Dominic’s wife, Laura. Aunt Laura scooped me up and cared for me like her own until mom woke up and came to collect me a short while later.

I hadn’t run away at all, you see. I’d simply gone from one of my homes in a six-apartment building crammed with family members to another one, that’s all. Every door to every apartment was home to each and every one of us, around 30 people give or take.

Laura died this morning, seven years to the day that Dominic left us. True to our family’s stubborn insistence on staying close, a couple of her loved ones made sure that she didn’t have to go it alone.

Dominic has been visiting Laura a lot lately; so has my mother. The only thing that Laura wasn’t quite able to fathom is why only she could see her husband and his sister near her bedside these past weeks, why only she could hear them talking about the place where they soon would be taking her.

I hope that our inability to see or hear what she saw and heard didn’t frustrate Laura too very much. I would just hate to think that it troubled her in any way.

All of us would hate that.

She was a dearly loved and vital member of our family, and is already horribly, horribly missed.

4 Responses to “Aunt Laura”

  1. twinklechar July 25, 2019 at 4:43 pm #


  2. Carolynn July 25, 2019 at 7:41 pm #

    Itā€™s such a lonely feeling as these people who are so much a part of us, our history and our hearts, leave us. Memories become more valuable, and somehow the world is never complete again without them in it.
    My sincere sympathy, Mr Meatball

  3. Janet Rancan July 25, 2019 at 11:24 pm #

    My dad passed away in April, last year, leaving behind my mom, who he’d been married to for almost 65 years. Up until then, mom was still large & in charge – she did it all. Drove, shopped, cooked, and was chief care giver to dad, who had been bed-bound, for several years.
    Almost instantly, after dad died, mom lost her reason for being. She has nothing that interests her. She just sits, she barely eats, she’s confused. She tells us she can’t leave the house because she can’t leave dad alone. I stopped in, last week, on my way home from work. She asked me to help her get dad into a chair – the bowl of hot soup, she planned to feed him, sat on the dining room table. Maybe it’s just as you described with aunt Laura. The spirits comes to visit those who are in a state capable of receiving them. I would like to think this will happen when my time comes.

  4. Laura Hardin July 26, 2019 at 11:12 am #

    So very sorry for your loss. Sending your family many prayers for comfort and peace.

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