I found out today that my aunt had a heart attack. I have many aunts. This aunt is my godmother. I last saw her at her daughter's wedding in Mexico. She survived the heart attack, is back at home and is on bed rest for months. She's also in Vancouver, which means I can't see her.
My cousin called me this morning and we had a long talk about it. I work today, but that was shot after getting this news. I just couldn't concentrate. I did about half my work before external sources took over, and through the power and folly that is technology I was prevented from getting anything further done, removing my responsibility in the matter. Normally tech problems frustrate me. Today they were a god send.
I miss my family. Knowing that my aunt is sick and that I can't see her is difficult. If she were in my hometown, I'd be making arrangements to get back for a few days to see what I could do for her. I'm used to being several hours away from everyone, so it's easy to ignore the fact Vancouver is so far away. I push that away in my mind, and let it out when I know I'm close to seeing them all again. I get excited and almost giddy with anticipation.
She's only 60 years old, which is young, but at the same time disturbingly old since she's perpetually about 50 in my mind. My own mother would be 61 this past January. Hard to comprehend.
My uncle in my hometown had cancer removed from his colon recently. He's in the hospital, fighting off a complication from the surgery. This uncle is the one I stay with when I visit back home. My aunt is my blood relative and the two of them were like surrogate parents after my dad gave up on me. He quite literally decided to move to a place where there would be no room for me in his home while I was in college, so that when I came back for the summer I had nowhere to go. My aunt and uncle opened their home and never closed it.
So now these two people, this aunt and this uncle are experienced medical problems, the kind that come about from age, yes, but they're still young. And they're people I love and value, people who have taken me in like their own child when I needed it, and after my mother passed and my father took me in and threw me out at whim, I needed it a lot.
Sometimes getting older is painful because of the fact other people are getting older, too. Sometimes I wish I could freeze people in time. I'm choosing optimism right now. But unfortunately, I can't unknow what I've learned about the unfairness of life. And that'll keep me up tonight, and tomorrow night, and probably for many nights after that.