Today was a very quiet and sad day, so the quiet was good as I didn't have to slap a smile on my face and pretend my heart didn't hurt.
I learned this morning that my Auntie Monica (who is actually my grandfather's cousin so...my third cousin?) passed away yesterday.
Our family is very sparse and of the few we have....simply put, don't seem to do the whole family thing anyway. Auntie Monica and I were friends though. She was a wonderful woman, but I was a really sucky friend to her. She's been living in tiny room in a nursing home since she broke her hip, and the last time I saw her she told me she knew wasn't going back home again. I told her I'd be back the next week, but the next week Daniel had a sniffle, not even a cold, but her health wasn;'t well and I didn't want her catching anything we brought in. The next week was the same, and the week after I had allergies that I couldn't be sure wasn't the beginning of a cold, and then I had surgery and looked like shit for so long that there was no way I was going to drop past and freak her old lady shit out. By the time my face had healed enough, I needed more surgery, and then more again....but they're all just excuses when really, the Sunday habit was broken before it even started as I'd usually remember I'd meant to go visit her in the middle of the night the following day.
Her daughter (and my godmother, who used to be a nun and who is now a cop. For reals) called today, and in speaking of her mother, told me that Auntie Monica knew I was busy and understood I couldn't come by. But I could have. I should have made the time instead of waiting for it to magically appear.
She also told me that her mum was confused a lot so when she'd look at the photos I sent of Daniel, of her with him in April last year, she'd speak of our visit like it was only yesterday.
It doesn't make me feel any better though, that she thought we'd just been, because I should have given her a lot more memories than just those few, and I should have given myself more memories of her.
Today was another day where I woke up to the thought that it might be nice to go and see her, but if she hadn't died, the truth is I doubt I would have made it to see her anyway.
We got each other though? Regardless of the sporadic visits and the rather huge age gap.
It hurts to think about never getting another chance to be as good a friend to her as she was to me are getting annoying, , and even more when I think about Daniel growing up without knowing her.
I know she's still with me though, by my side, even though I can't see her.
Which is what Auntie Monica told me after my father had died, and are the words that saved me from drowning in grief.
As much as I didn't see her enough, I don't know how I'm going to be with never seeing her again.