It feels like my Great Aunt has been pushing 90 since I was born.
Right now I believe she's 92 years old.
She weighs approximately 75 pounds.
I know, I know, all you anorexic girls are drooling, possibly foaming if there is enough saliva left, over that weight, but when you weigh less than your age it can't be good.
Today at work I took a break and checked my personal e-mail to see if my mom dropped me a line*. When I did I found out that great Aunt Maud is in the hospital, yet again, and had fallen.
Now, I knew she fell because Irene (my mother) told me about it via email on Friday, but I really didn't think much of it; she's old, tiny and more fragile than glass, of course she'll take a spill on a damp floor here and there; I've seen the commercials, I know old people fall and can't get up from time to time.
The thing is, Maud didn't just slip, she had a heart attack. Irene tells me she's got kidney failure, and she's had to sign a do-not-resuscitate form.
Maud lives a pretty solitary life.
Every friend she's had she's isolated by saying what's on her mind.
A classic story is that she told a dear friend of hers,
"You know, you wouldn't be huffing and puffing up those stairs if you lost some weight, you don't really need any ice cream and it would lighten your load."
Ain't she sweet?
She can be, at moments she would actually be friendly. She'll call you if you send her a card thanking you and then tell you how your mother (who works 10 hour days) never visits her.
Her apartment is always fully supplied with chocolates she could never stomach and sucking candy that was older than president Carter and his administration, combined; and she's willing to give you as much as you'd like.
Irene's email is basically saying she's not doing well, and any day could be the day that we lose her.
This woman who's tormented my mother my entire life, who has no children of her own, who lives isolating herself and being quite a curmudgeon to all around her, is someone I'm actually surprised and saddened to see fading away from the earth.
I think it's because we always said that Maud would out-live all of us.
My siblings and I often discussed how we'd all take turns caring for her and putting up with her ill will.
The fact that she truly might be dying is really quite distrubing to me.
I couldn't even clean tonight.
Not like I wanted to,
but the point of the matter is,
I am really sad that she might not make it through this.
Maybe I'll even have to get married,
so someone will make me miserable later in life, instead of Maud.
That's a truly depressing thought.
It shouldn't be though, I mean when I tell old friends recent Maud stories they're always shocked she's still alive and fiesty, everyone always considered her older than God himself and figured by now she'd be in eternal rest.
I guess all things end, hopefully not too soon.
My thoughts are with Maud tonight**.
*My mother doesn't call. She will go weeks, even a month or more without hearing from me and not pick up a phone because she "doesn't want to be a bother". She will occasionally email me once in a while to keep in touch. I look forward to these emails because when my mother writes something that she finds funny she will not write out "he-he" or "haha" and definitely not the LOL, but rather Irene will write out:
and it's the most adorable thing, ever.
**No, not Bea Arthur, my great Aunt, pay attention!