I will be going to visit my aunt in a few short hours. She is so looking forward to seeing me. I was so looking forward to seeing her. But now, I’m not so sure.

I’ve been warned. She is not the same strong woman I knew so well. The woman who travelled across the country in her gold 1969 Oldsmobile with only a fourteen year old son and even younger niece for company, stopping at any national park en route. The women that raised three sons, putting all of them through college, one who became a physician, another owning a nursing home, and one who is taking care of her now . The women who watched two of those sons die a slow, horrendous death, within months of each other. The women, whose faith faltered for a time, but came back even stronger. The women who volunteered for a homeless shelter for many, many years. The women who never had a daughter of her own, so “adopted” me.

I will be going to visit my ninety-one year old aunt very soon. I’m told the light is gone from her eyes. I am told she weighs less than ninety pounds. I am told that her memory is not what it used to be. I have been warned.

God, please grant me half her strength, so that I can hide my grief of seeing her like this, and hide my fear that this may very well be the last time that I will see her in this life.


10 thoughts on “Strength

  1. No matter where life has taken her at this point I truly believe that somewhere in her is that woman you remember. She remembers too and she will be so happy you are there. Sending strength and faith your way today.

  2. Lynn, I’m sorry. This will be very hard for you, but you will be able to do it. She’ll appreciate your presence and your strength.

    The words you wrote about her here are beautiful. You really did a magnificent job of describing her strength that you admire.

    I’m thinking of you.

  3. Written so beautifully. A real testament to your aunt. She sounds like she’s lived a full life. Albeit one with more than her share of heart ache. She’s lucky to have you to visit and stick by her. I hope we can all have such luck AND strength at her age!!

  4. What a tribute to someone so strong and lovable. Sadly, my aunt is going through the same thing. It’s painful. I try to embrace the memories.

  5. Wow’. Emotional piece! You did a beautiful job of describing her.
    What a strong woman! So sad that she had to see and experience such loss with her 2 sons. Though it’s the cycle of life, it’s so hard to see someone losing the battle. To go from the strong,determined caretaker to the fragile, frail woman who needs care is tough on all. Your ending is perfect! Hope the visit went well.

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