Also, one of my aunts is very sick. She just had surgery to remove a blockage of her carotid artery, and she is so very frail. Her three daughters, my cousins, are scared. They are all traveling to be with her at Christmas. I adore this aunt. She's a little OCD, like me. She worries obsessively about her daughters, all of them married women, every one of them the kind of daughter that would make any mother proud. She and my uncle raised them to be caring, funny, strong-hearted, opinionated women. The youngest shook things up mightily when she came out to her parents right after college. Her father was devastated, and left the room, but her mother, my aunt, followed him out and led him back by the elbow, saying fiercely, "This is your daughter! This is your father! Now we're going to sit here and talk! I am not going to let this break up my family!" At the time, my aunt and uncle were deeply homophobic. Now, fifteen years later, my aunt speaks warmly about how much her youngest allowed her to grow, how grateful she is, and how, when my cousin married her partner is San Francisco last summer, she gained another daughter.
This aunt is also the one who used to press crisp twenty, fifty, hundred dollar bills into our hands when we were small. When you're not yet of age and haven't figured out how to get money on your own, you remember such things. She was too generous by far.
I didn't realize until I spoke with my mom today (I had called to complain that more work was about to fall onto my already overflowing desk) just how weak and close to the edge my aunt is after her surgery last week. Now, I'm scared too. As my mom and her sisters all say, Jehovah Jireh, which means, God will provide just what we need at the time we need it. And so I pray for her healing.