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Bittersweet Ending

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If there was one person who has inspired me to dream a bit larger, it was my Aunt Shari. She grew up “farm-dirt poor” with my grandmother and by the end of her seventy years she was worth about three million dollars. My Aunt Shari was my grandmother’s only sibling. Once my grandmother moved and married my grandfather, Aunt Shari ran fast & furious from Nebraska straight to the sunny State of California. After my Aunt Shari became a permanent California Girl, my grandmother officially became a mother hen. 

I have heard some wild stories regarding my Aunt, but by the time I actually came into her life she was a tame grandmother of two. The physical description of my Auntie comes across as cartoonish, but I solemnly swear it is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. A diminutive 5’ 2” (with heels, as I never saw her without!), she wore knee length dresses that accentuated the tiniest waist but was still ample enough in the top to accommodate her DD implants.

The most noticeable attribute of my Aunt Shari was her incredibly coiffed hair. The reason it was so incredibly coiffed was because she always wore a wig. I had counted up to six wigs in her bedroom, but i am sure she must have had some on reserve (just in case of a fire or a mass wig burglary). Besides being enhanced with silicone, she also spent an enormous amount on make-up. False lashes, bright fuchsia lips, plus the two to three inch heels, all gave her an authentic superficiality. From all accounts, my Aunt could have either been mistaken for a former showgirl or a Dolly Parton lookalike. Either way, my Auntie loved attention of any kind.

I would say Aunt Shari’s greatest weakness, was also the most charming of her qualities. She was fiercely loyal. When my Auntie met Uncle Clint, I heard there were fireworks. It must have been, as the union lasted more than twenty plus years. The attraction was looks, and it was a mutual attraction. But like all fireworks, the show eventually ends.

About 15 years ago Clint had a stroke. It caused minor paralysis. My Aunt Shari spent an exorbitant amount of money in order to accommodate her husband’s rehabilitation. She spent countless hours at the hospital and at home making sure that his needs were tended to. Eventually, Uncle Clint recovered to a point of only needing the moderate use of a cane.

A couple of years following his stroke, my Aunt Shari had a series of minor strokes and suffered slight paralysis after recovering from a coma. The immediate decision was to have my Aunt placed in a “home.” At first I was pissed. I thought this woman had spent a lifetime of saving her money and deserved to be at home with loved ones. But once I saw her condition, I realized that medical personnel available to her at all times, was a more suitable option.

Not long after my Aunt was placed in a care center, her beloved husband was stabbed to death. As I had mentioned previously, my Auntie was fiercely loyal. To such an extent that she extended her home to her “dope-dependent” son and his girlfriend. Once my Great Aunt’s son had heard that Clint was going to sell the house and move to Mexico, he decided something had to be done. 

The story is that cousin Kyle’s girlfriend was tired of the unwarranted sexual overtures by Uncle Clint. During one such overture by Uncle Clint, Kyle’s girlfriend grabbed a knife and began stabbing her aged admirer. Both Kyle & his girlfriend were detained and the murder charges were administered. While all this was going on, My Aunt Sheri was recovering from the strokes. The only comfort was that during this time, and for the remainder of her life, Aunt Sheri was never able to fully comprehend how her loved ones had turned into money-hungry, selfish beasts.

For the next year, I made it a point to visit my Aunt Sheri at the convalescent home once a week. I did this for several reasons. The first, I knew she would have been there for me, if some physical ailment occurred. The second, no one deserves to be alone and confused. With each visit I brought a pastry and rattled on about all my meaningless priorities (movies, work, etc.) I tried to get her to talk, but she preferred to stare at her thumbs and listen.

No matter how “out-of-touch” with reality; this woman had enjoyed one of the most independent, luxurious of lives. She traveled, she had a Multimillion dollar home, and more importantly she loved unabashedly. Even though the man she loved the most, abused her confused state; my Aunt Sheri let her heart rule. And while I have learned to be cautious with whom I give your heart to, the purpose in life is to enjoy the ride (just try to remain in the driver’s seat).

Names and places have been changed

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