An(other) Open Letter to my Aunt

Hi Auntie,

I've been sharing and re-sharing the same post for about five years or so, so I thought it was time to update it with some different memories and sentiments. (No puppy pictures, though.)

Remember when you used to pick me up from school? You'd pick me up from AM kindergarten and on Tuesdays, we'd go to Market Basket and do your grocery shopping for the week. You'd get me a slice of American cheese when you'd get cold cuts from the deli. I hate (haaaaaaate) American cheese now, but even though I'm almost 24, I think I'd eat it if you handed it to me from the Market Basket deli like the old days. Hopefully I'm not sitting in the carriage this time, though, because I'm positive that I wouldn't fit anymore.

I know what you're thinking: "Yeah, and that one time I took you to Market Basket, you stole a package of Chap Stick!" First off, I was four, I had no concept of crime and punishment. Second off, you didn't make me put them back, so... you're partially to blame here, Missy. Let that one sink in. Ha!

I miss that hideous rug you had in your living room. You can't tell me that thing was cute, but I spent so many years playing and coloring in my coloring books on it that I can remember exactly how it felt on my skin. And I miss it. Come to think of it, I haven't been in that house since the day after... yeah.

People think it's so weird that I eat feta cheese... just, straight up feta cheese. No need to put it with anything else, just need the feta cheese. But people don't understand that we used to eat it like that together. You used to sit at the kitchen table in the chair closest to the fridge, I'd sit next to you, and we'd eat our feta cheese just like that. Sometimes you'd put it on celery, but you and I both knew that it was best alone. I remember looking at your ring with all the diamonds and the gold band when we'd snack together. That very ring has been sitting on my finger in a tragically beautiful, full-circle kind of way for eight years.

One of the greatest gifts you gave me was that you helped to teach me how to be an Aunt. If my math is correct (lol), I think you and I became Aunts at around the same age, or at least in the same age bracket. I hope that means that I'll at least be half the Aunt you were to me with some time. I just wish you could be here for it...

I wish you could be here for a lot of things. You have grandchildren! Though I haven't met them all yet because of Miss Rona :(, I know they're all the apples of your eyes and that you personally selected them to be born and to grace this Earth. At least, that's how I like to think of it: a grandmother getting to hold the souls of her grandchildren before sending them down to Earth. It's quite an ethereal, vivid image in my head. Putting it into words makes it feel more real. I wonder if anyone else has had that same thought? We'll find out.

You taught me how to draw flowers. I don't draw very often, but when I do and I draw flowers, I draw them the way you taught me. Sometimes I add a bit of a flair to them, like some extra petals or a fun way of coloring them. Like I said, it doesn't happen often, but when it does, I think of you every time.

I still miss you every day. Aprils are hard. They have been for a while. I'm not the only one that feels like this, which is a testament to how amazing you were. Then again, Christmases, Thanksgivings, Fourth of Julys... they're all hard now. They're just not the same, that's all. We all still have a good time, but I think I can speak for all of us when I say that we miss you just a little bit extra those days. I don't think that's a bad thing, either. I think it's normal and human to miss people.

I still don't understand why this happened to you. Rationally, I do: you were a smoker. I really resented it when I was younger, too, because I hated the smell of it and how it got on my clothes and hair. I hated that it was so bad for you, but you just kept smoking. (I'm almost 24, I feel like I can tell you that now.) But people do much worse in this world and still get to walk around as freely as birds. That brings me back to my point: I still don't understand why it had to be you. I really, really don't. Shouldn't karma even things out a bit for people like you who are genuinely good people? Doesn't that get you brownie points or something? I feel like there was a mistake made somewhere in all of this. See, when my Pepere passed, as sad as it is that he's gone, it makes (some) sense because he was old; he got to live a full life. But you... you didn't because of the cancer. As my Z-man used to say, "None of this makes any sense!"

I'm rambling at this point. In my defense, I've had five years to update this, so this was bound to happen, especially when one of those years has been in lockdown from Miss Rona. But I think I will spend part of today walking in a nearby park and listening to my "Auntie" playlist I made.

Okay, that's it for now.

I love you.

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