It's been a stressful week here in Mauiville. My aunt, who was hospitalized a couple of weeks ago with dehydration, turned out to have a growth in her colon which is cancerous. I had to take her to the doctor to hear the news on Tuesday; he had given me a hint of what to expect when the biopsy results came in, so I kind of knew already that the news was bad. She took the news well - she'd had a similar diagnosis 20 years ago, was operated on, and was OK - but of course she was a lot younger then.
My aunt will need to undergo an operation again, if she is strong enough to withstand it. She is 88 and frail, so the outcome would be uncertain. I am hoping she can gain strength back after her illness (which was not caused by the growth). Then we can see whether she is able to undergo the operation, which would probably cure her if she can survive it.
My aunt has always been part of my life and it is hard to imagine the time when she will no longer be with me. Her sister, my mother, is two years older, yet my mother has always been the healthier one. At 90, she is doing well despite her pack a day smoking habit, whereas my aunt has heart failure, high blood pressure, and has always had digestive issues.
It seems as if my aunt always got the short end of the stick in life. My grandparents were not wealthy, and it was my mother who was sent to college; my aunt, who was less sure what she wanted to do in her life, ended up going to some kind of trade school where she was trained in occupational therapy. That didn't work out so well, as she was working with mental patients who were kind of violent, and after one of them knocked her down and broke her glasses, she left that career rather quickly. She then tried to join the WAVES during World War II but was discharged for health reasons shortly after she joined, after she had an allergic reaction to something and fainted.
She eventually found a good career working in a laboratory performing spectroscopy on precious metals and worked her way up to being the group supervisor, so she did finally find her niche.
My mother married and had me, and stopped working at her chosen career of journalism after that; my aunt, who never married, was the one with the career even though she didn't get the college education. She also was the daughter who ended up taking care of her parents in their old age.
When I was young I thought of my aunt as quite glamorous - unlike my mother, she had this career, she had a lot of friends, and used to travel a lot when she was younger. She was also willing to sit on the floor and play with me when I came over to my grandparents' house and was always a lot of fun. I loved going over there.
After she retired, she still kept busy with her church group, she played cards with friends, and did volunteer work. Now of course most of her friends have moved away to retirement communities, are living with grown children, or have passed away. She had to give up her house last year and move into the seniors apartment building my mother had moved into the year before, as taking care of the house was too much for her.
Now it seems her time may be running out, and it's hitting me rather hard. She is not always an easy person to deal with, as she has very strong opinions and tends to be rather contrary sometimes. But she has always been a fixture in my life and it will be hard to imagine her not being there. And she's always been very good to me.
It also makes me realize my mother will not be around forever either (not that I didn't know it, but we always tend to be in denial about these things). That's another thing that's hard to imagine.
I was going to write about President Obama's decision to begin the tribunals in Guantanamo again (disappointing, despite his reassurance that the prisoners would have expanded legal rights).
I am also concerned that he has decided to try to block the release the torture photographs from Iraq. Maybe his motives are correct, and that it would indeed inflame anti-American sentiments, but it is still a concern when he reverses his position on these issues. And we're still waiting for him to reverse "Don't Ask Don't Tell."
But I find despite these concerns, it has been hard to concentrate on them this week with everything else going on. So instead I've used my spare moments to play Scramble on Facebook...or sleep. I'm really good at sleeping, it's a great avoidance technique.
This weekend will be a busy one - after a neighborhood park cleanup we're heading up to the Adirondacks just for Saturday night, to get away and relax a bit. In the meantime, we have received the good news from our contractor that the painting will be done inside the cabin shortly and the well will be drilled soon as well. So by the time the summer really comes we may actually be able to stay in the cabin itself instead of paying to stay in a cabin nearby!
I'll close with a few haiku. Hope everyone has a good weekend!
Cheney is guilty
Of authorizing torture
We all know this now.
Knew about waterboarding
Way back in '03
She too is guilty
And so are many others
Where is the justice?
On to other news,
GM is closing dealers
And so is Chrysler.
Luckily for us
Our Jeep dealership survived
And will still be there.
And what of the Saabs?
There are two or three bidders
Who may buy the brand.
Times are really tough
For all the car companies
But some may survive.