Some Things I Never Told You


My Dearest Aunty Shaz…

The news of your death hasn’t quite sunk in yet. I can feel it trying to get into my bloodstream. The reality and finality of it. Stupidly I got up late this morning because my dogs had me pinned down and my cat was asleep on my back and I didn’t want to disturb them. Then again, what does it matter when I finally surfaced? You’re still gone.

There are some things I never told you. And perhaps I am hoping that there is wifi in Heaven because I’ve always believed that you should tell people the things about them that make your own life a little bit more beautiful. I messed up with you. And I didn’t tell you. So I want to tell you now.

Forgive me if this seems a little self-involved. I know I come across that way sometimes. I tend to understand the world better when I tie it to myself, and I can see how that can be interpreted as making it about me. It’s how I process though. I start with myself and then follow the ripples, watching them collide and intersect. And make sense…

The hardest thing I have ever done is become a stepmother. This is purely a reflection on myself and my difficulties with control. It is not a reflection on my children at all. Thomas and Bridgette have both grown into fantastic human beings, despite their self-doubting second mother. And as far as children go, they are certainly of the less challenging kind. They’ve always respected me as an authority figure in their lives, and not once ever did they throw you’re not my mom at me. They’re pretty great.

When I met Ty, I knew he was mine. From the moment I glanced at him and said hello. I claimed him. My whole heart and body and soul claimed that man. He was mine from that moment. I don’t know how or why. I just know that when I met him I knew he was mine.

So taking on his kids was a no-brainer.

But man! It was hard.

Here I was, this highly strung person made of broken glass and sharp edges, and I was supposed to play a massive role in the lives of these two kids who made absolutely no sense to me. None. At all. I had this toddler who I understood completely even though he only spoke martian language until he was five. That one made sense. The weird things he did made sense to me. All of the weird things! But these two? Na-ah. And I am not good at no sense.

And then you met them. You, my beautiful aunt made of soft marshmallows and powdered sugar instead of spikes and angst, you met them and you loved them. Just like that. Adored them! JUST LIKE THAT! And it was so incredibly beautiful to me. And you told me over and over again how lovely you thought they were and no one had really done that. You were kind to them and you accepted them as part of the family while I was still figuring out how to.

So many times when I felt like I was losing my mind I’d think Aunty Sharon would be disappointed in you for thinking her angels are demons and it would make me smile to myself a bit.

You were there with me a lot on those first years. The soft essence of you. You are the kindest most generous person. The way you just take everyone in and love them. The way you effortlessly make them feel welcome. I’ve always felt loved by you and that has always been a big deal.

We’ve grown closer over the last few years. Chatting frequently and sharing silly memes and videos. I am going to miss that so much. The last thing you sent me was a picture of a naked woman riding a horse through Clarens. Gosh that made me laugh so much! I told you that I wanted to be her when I’m old and fabulous, which is true. But I also want to be a bit more like you too. Soft, and always smiling.

I love you so much more than you know. You and your naughty face.

Rest easy, my beautiful aunty…

I miss you already.

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