The day has come! The one year anniversary of my aunt’s death.
I have grown so much in this past year. I never thought I would make it after I lost her, but God’s grace has covered me my entire life. How could I have expected him to stop when she died?
Mourning my aunt has been an experience. She was far from perfect. She had many flaws. Flaws that made living with her difficult. She could be mean and passive aggressive. The words that would come out of her mouth could make you feel completely worthless. Her words didn’t truly affect me until she died. This past year, I had to build myself up again. I had to believe I wasn’t a worthless piece of trash. I had to discover truth. What were my beliefs, my passions, and my ways of doing things. I was starting fresh, but then not at the same time. I was reminded daily of all the places I had went with her, and the memories spent.
She may have said things that didn’t make me feel too great about myself, but she was my everything. I spent nearly twenty years of my life with her. She was the one that was there through it all, like when I was six and had to get six staples in my butt. She was the one that had to tell me things I didn’t want to hear, like when I was ten and my mom wasn’t going to survive. Or when she had to tell me my dad died a week after I found my dog dead in the yard. As crazy as my life got, I had her. If you saw her, I wasn’t too far behind. One time she went to Starbucks without me, and the barista asked where I was. Then later that day when I got out of class, I saw that she got Starbucks, so I obviously had to get a drink. We went back, and the same barista was like “oh there she is.”
The last year spent with my aunt was one of the best years of my life, even though we fought on a daily basis. In the beginning, that made me miss my aunt more, because I wanted to share even more of those memories with her. I am thankful that the last year spent with her was an amazing one.
After my aunt died, learning how to make decisions without taking in consideration of what she needed or wanted was VERY difficult. It was weird to go grocery shopping, or any type of shopping without her. The year before she died, I just started working. I had money, but I didn’t work enough hours to be financially stable. I was financially dependent on my aunt until the day she died. Thankfully, I got a full-time job within a week after she died. I was able to have a job, and be financially stable without her. I was able to live on my own. I was able to be my own person and make my own decisions. That job and the freedom that came with it, helped me move on.
I would not be where I am without my aunt. Then at the same time, I have accomplished more in the last year without her. There are many times where I miss her and wish she was here with me. I also know if she was, it wouldn’t be good for her or for me. She lived a long, and hard life. She wasn’t fit to raise me, because she had her own trauma to deal with. That also pushed me to raise myself at such a young age. She was there, but I was the one who took care of me. I got up on my own, went to school, did my homework, made dinner, and repeat. I pushed myself through all the pain because I knew what I wanted from life, and I knew I wasn’t going to get it if I didn’t work for it. I didn’t want to be like my aunt. I wanted an education, and I didn’t want to get my money from selling drugs or stripping.
She was one of the strongest women I will ever know. She loved me more than life itself. Through all the negative words, she was proud of me and who I was becoming.
There is no denying that she will forever be the biggest part of my life. The hours of laughter we shared. The hours we spent doing puzzles. The hours of Grey’s Anatomy. The hours of music. The hours spent driving in the car. The hours she listened to me obsess over Jennifer Lopez.
Thousands of hours were spent with her, and through it all, I am a better person because of her.