My Aunt Marsha passed away last night at the young age of 59. She was my Mother's one and only sibling.
Marsha didn't lead a life like you and I. Unfortunately for her, her oxygen was cut off at birth, which caused her debilitating mental state, requiring continuous care and looking-after from the moment she was born until the day she left us. Lucky for her though, my darling Grandparents cared for her, day in and day out, until their passing 10+ years ago.
After that, she lived in various nursing homes throughout Missouri where she could be best taken care of. She was diagnosed with cancer 2 years ago and last night she took her last breath.
I feel bad for a lot of reasons. I feel bad that she never got to experience true love. I feel bad that she never got to hold her own baby, and the movement it makes inside. I feel bad she never got to drive a car. I feel bad she never got to swim in the ocean, feel her children's arms around her neck, have a wedding and more than anything else, have her very own family.
I feel bad that the highlight of her days were those spent on outings to get fast food or to visit a Claire's boutique, where she could buy little trinkets that made her happy. It makes me sad because she never had the opportunities that most of us have-- to truly live.
And mostly I feel bad that I never spent time trying to visit her. Sure she was in a rural Missouri town, which isn't easily accessible from where I reside-- but I still feel I could have been more-- done more. I think back now on all of those Christmases at Grandma & Grandpa's farm, and how she ADORED Christmas. She would sit and wait for the presents to pile up-- and she always got the most. Cat clocks. Cat watches. Cat sweatshirts. Alvin & the Chipmunk cassettes. Kenny & Dolly Cassettes. And of course, packs upon packs of batteries so she could listen to her music-- over, and over, and over-- while wearing her cat watch and sweatshirt. She adored her music. And cats. In fact, every cat she came across was named "Fuzzy"... a dear cat that she had when she was a young girl.
Getting the call from my sweet Mother this morning was so sad. It was a blessing to hear that she is no longer suffering, yet it's yet another tie that has been torn from our family. We have lost so many. Stupid cancer. Marsha will love on though. What few organs she had that could be donated, were. Her eyes will allow someone to see someday. What better gift could be given..?
I will be traveling to the services to honor her life. And sadly, I know I will sit there, wishing she had gotten more opportunities-- feeling remorse for not driving to get her and taking her to the zoo-- or picking her up and going on a long walk-- or visiting her, allowing her to see my own children. Why didn't I do any of that??? Too caught up in my own stuff I suppose-- but it doesn't make me feel any better that I was "busy". She was a life. A real person. And thanks to her, someone... someday will "see" what life is supposed to be like.
Here is her obituary: Marsha Rae Roach