THAT LITTLE RED HOUSE VI: Sometimes The Demons Win

I wrote about the loss of my aunt & uncle briefly in another post. But I’m keeping the promise I made to myself to write when my emotions are getting the best of me. So, here we go…again.

Growing up my youngest aunt & uncle stayed with us a lot. They stayed at most of their older brothers & sisters homes, at one time or another, throughout their childhood.

We were just little kids, full of silliness and dreams.

We were close. Being the same age, meant we were more like siblings. We grew up together & it was hard watching them go through what they endured.

So many emotions when you’re a kid are mixed up & oftentimes misplaced. I remember being sad & angry for them when things were bad. Many times I was jealous of them, as well. They had all the newest and greatest things. They went on trips & to all the fun things, amusement parks, circuses, shows, etc.. They had all the good snacks & cereal! They got to pretty much do whatever they wanted. It wasn’t fair. Life through the eyes of my childhood looked much different to me than it does with my adult eyes.

“If you make the world better for children,
you make it better for everyone.”

My aunt spent her entire life trying to out run her demons. She was 2 years older than me & funny as hell. Lord could she make me laugh. Despite rough times and struggles through adulthood, I loved her. When her health started to spiral out of control it was hard for everyone. There was a lot of hurt feelings & some people struggled with their own conflicting emotions when it came to her. It was a difficult time. She so desperately wanted to leave this earth having peace with her family. Not everyone was able to give her that. We have to respect, that they set boundaries for themselves & that’s ok. It doesn’t matter if we agree or if we’d do it differently. We are all entitled to do what is best for ourselves.

She loved to laugh & make others laugh.

When she passed away it brought back a lot of the emotions I went through when I lost my sister. To say it was difficult would be an understatement. I’m grateful I was one who was able to spend those last months, weeks, days, with her, thanks to technology. She lived on the other side of the country. We spent hours talking and video chatting. I wouldn’t give that time back for anything.

On October 23, 2020, we lost my aunt. She was 52 years old.

A year later on September 7, 2021, we lost my uncle. He also spent his life trying to outrun his demons. But in his case, he became them. His adult life was full of broken relationships, uncontrolled anger & addiction. It was heartbreaking to watch as he sabotaged his own life, over & over again.

The day we buried you, it was a cold, dreary day. I kept wishing the sun would find its way through the clouds. But it never did. What a metaphor for all the seasons of your life. When those who loved you, prayed for you. Hoping that you’d know your worth and the worth of those you loved. That you’d stop hurting yourself and your loved ones.

You see the world remembers him as the bad guy he could be as an adult. His family remembers that little boy and all he endured. We remember our uncle, brother, father, friend, & all of the good times. We don’t make excuses for his behavior. He wasn’t always good, we accepted that & we held him accountable for his actions. But he was good to us and we know how his monsters were created. We watched them grow with each beating.

We wished, we hoped, we prayed, that you would break through the dark clouds that consumed you & find your way.

I wish he had found his way out of the darkness. I wish he knew how blessed & loved he was. I wish he had been a brighter light for his children & the women who loved him. I wish he had met his granddaughter. I wish we could’ve “fixed” what was broken inside him. I wish he was still here.

I wish both of them were still here.

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