The days fold one into another, and the daily phone calls with Mom tend towards reminiscence – not much happening in the present.
We talk about my aunt, her sister-in-law, a colourful figure who lived her life alone – lesbian in a time when homosexuality was considered criminal, and later, a mental illness. Dee, as we called her, would dress as the old man from Laugh-In and crash our childhood birthday parties, shuffling her feet, mumbling and tossing out candies from her deep pockets.
“Everyone wanted Dee to come to their parties!” Mom laughs.
“Remember how she’d threatened to move to Alaska to get away from us all?”
“And how she always came over wearing a name tag?”
“Dad could never get our names right!”
We laugh, each lost in her own memories.
“She looked after me once when I was sick,” Mom says. “She came in wearing one of her moo-moos, offered to make me a cup of tea, and proceeded to do the Tetley tea dance. The thought of it still makes me laugh.”
Then Mom tells me a story about Dee in her final days. With cancer riddling her body, she went from checkup (she avoided doctors for most of her life) to palliative care in a matter of weeks. Family flew out from England to say their goodbyes.
“There she was, dying of cancer, and when her sisters entered her room, she opened her eyes and without missing a beat, said: ‘They tell me I have a twisted twat.'”
Only Dee. Even in memory, she keeps us smiling.
This week’s focus was remembering – a fun prompt promoting many sweet stories. Thanks to all who participated:
Hope you are all well and staying safe. Bless you to those who must work the front lines. See you tomorrow for a new challenge!.