A Visit with the Murrays
Note – “Murray” was my grandmother and Aunts’ maiden name.
I went to my Aunt Patty’s wake earlier tonight. I went through the receiving line, which included her husband, daughters, their significant others, and her sister, Eileen.
Seeing my Aunt Eileen gave me pause. It was only when I sat down with my sisters and started talking to them that the full realization of Aunt Eileen’s situation hit me: she’s the only remaining sibling in her family. No parents, no sisters, not brothers. Just her.
Granted, she still has her husband and her children, and family members pass as the years go on. However, as selfish and/or morbid as it may seem, I couldn’t help but think about what it would be like if I were the only sibling left.
My immediate family – particularly my siblings – are everything to me. I’m not in a relationship, and I have my own doubts as to whether I’m the marrying kind or will ever have children of my own. Even if I did, the support structure that I already have in place is unique and irreplaceable.
My Aunts had a similar relationship. At times it may have seemed tumultuous, particularly since they’re all unique characters in their own right. I could probably write a book on my grandmother (their sister), whose void in my life is felt on at least a weekly basis. But when all was said and done and particularly when it mattered, they had their own bond and way of using each other for support.
My siblings and I have the same relationship. And I have to be honest, I don’t know how I would react to being the only one left. This, to me, is a much more worrying prospect than my own mortality.
As if my Aunt Patty didn’t give me enough through her life, attitude, and brave battle with cancer, she’s also provided me with a greater appreciation of my siblings and the crucial role they play in my life. So to Jack, Davelyn, Bridget, and Megan – I thank you for everything, and I will continue to thank and appreciate you throughout our short time in this world. And I thank my Aunt Patty and her sisters (including my Nanny) for being the example.
Tomorrow’s the funeral. Keep Patty’s husband, daughters, and grandchilren in your thoughts and/or prayers tonight. It’s going to be a long day for them.