I almost didn’t launch my Kickstarter last night. I was actually fixin’ to launch earlier in the day.
I went out to lunch with Ellie Blankfort. Always filled with such joy and learning for me when I see her. What can you say about a friend that leaves you feeling more and more healed every time?
When I got home, there were a bunch of messages on my voice mail – never a good sign since I usually have none. And they all came from Alabama where my Aunt Susie lives. My Aunt Susie, whom, last I checked, was in full remission after five rounds of chemo for stage 4 breast cancer. It was some kind of miracle.
I’ve probably mentioned this story about how my brother and I went out to see her days after we received this news and, what we thought was going to be a trip of “goodbyes,” wound up being a trip about celebration. We were able to see her and my cousin Lisa – eight and a half months pregnant – her husband, and my little 2nd cousin Damon.
But not just six weeks after we left, Lisa overdosed and died, leaving her brand new baby boy, Samuel, her other son, Damon, her husband Tim, and my aunt (her mother), Susie, all in wake – not to mention my brother and I. It was a shock. Then again, it wasn’t.
Yesterday, the messages I received were even worse. Susie is in the hospital. The cancer has spread to her brain. No longer able to respond, I am the one to decide on life support. Also, the boys are in Child Protective Services and there is going to be a 72 hour hearing about their placement on Friday at 10:am. The kids will either be going to their other grandparents, or my brother’s family – and who can make a decision like this under such time constraints?! But a decision needs to be made or else they are going into foster care.
On top of that, I find out that Tim died last Thursday. No one knows how exactly, but we can all only guess.
By the time the night came, exhausted from crying and making about 1000 phone calls, I just pushed the “launch” button. Susie wouldn’t want me to hold up my work, and for who knows how long this can all drag on? The work was already done. The button just needed to be pressed and I can go back to making all my phone calls. Maybe it’s inappropriate, but I need the distraction in all honesty. She is the last of my immediate relatives (besides my brother).
So this morning we are moving her to a hospice facility. She will be gone any day, any time, any moment. She has an older granddaughter that keeps coming to see her, but she says Susie is just sleeping peacefully, and there is no way my brother, nor I, can make it out to Tuscaloosa now. All I can do is place others around her and hope she knows I am putting all her interests in place.