--by dotmatrix, posted Jun 20, 2021
Mom, Aunt Terri, Aunt Rose, c.1957
My mom's twin sister Aunt Terri called me yesterday. My aunt has been bedridden since January 2020. Despite the disease that steals her physical life, her spirit shines. Whenever we talk, she laughs a lot. She always asks how I am and for news about my life.
When I told her about the ADAA.org piece that was accepted and published, she burst into tears.
"Oh, I'm so happy! I'm so so happy!" She said it over and over, and soon we were both crying. All my life, she has been telling me to send my work out. I kept promising her I would.
We couldn't be two people more different in beliefs, yet we've been lifelong correspondents. I think my first letters to my aunt began when I was in the third or fourth grade. Love and letters have joined us for over 50 years.
I didn't want to hang up. How could I put decades of love into a few words? I told her how much her letters meant to me, all my life. She said she loved my letters too.
"I'm so glad I heard this great news today," my aunt said. "I'm close to the other side." She's really weak and could barely speak above a whisper. She's on heavy pain meds and often sleeps. So her call to me was an incredible kindness.
"I write to Aunt Rose sometimes when I really miss her," I told my aunt.
"Oh! Write to me too," she said. Her voice was hoarse. It was getting harder for her to speak.
"I will, I promise," I said. "I'll probably talk to you a lot too."
"I'll listen," she said.