Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"Danna, Aunt Marian Has Lung Cancer"

Oh, I have plans.

 Starting this blog has been a painstaking challenge.  I have ideas, recipes, stories, pictures of successful baking as well as not so successful baking, as is the norm in gluten free baking.  But, before I can do all of that I need to write about her.  And in the spirit of the immediacy of blogging I am just going to write about her.  My Aunt Marian.  Our Aunt Marian.  All of that other crap can wait.

Aunt Marian is sick.  And so, I am sick. 

I have not seen her in literally decades.  Shes my father's brother's wife. Ahhh, Aunt Marian.  What a lady!  Let me start by taking you into her home.  I say "home" because that's what she created.  I lived in a "house" for 18 years.  My cousins, lucky bastards, lived in a "home".

As soon as you entered this place you felt almost like you could lay down in front of a fireplace and take a nap.  Like, whatever you wanted to do, you could do.  I can't remember if they even  had a fireplace, come on, it's been decades! But, I bet if you did take a nap in front of the fireplace, Aunt Marian would have given you a hug upon waking, looked at you with her soulful, understanding eyes, and asked you if she could make you some lunch.  This place was just pleasant. Its a house that makes you think of homemade cookies and big pots of stew.  Comfort.  Pure comfort.  The kitchen, not unlike a lot of our homes, was the hub of action.  I can almost picture my cousins Barbie, Wendee and Mark teasing their mom in a way that left no one in doubt of how much these three love that woman!  I am also having these sensory memories of some really amazing home cooking.  Lots of food and lots of one of my favorite sounds...Aunt Marian's laugh.  A sound that makes you feel like dancing.  A sound that will light your hair on fire.

 Every summer (for quite a few years) while my brothers and I were growing up in Montana, we would all load up in the god-forsaken Suburban and make the pilgrimage to Minnesota.  All of my relatives on my dad's side were in Minnesota.  They were all there and it was a long trip!  So, even though time seemed to stop during those summer road trips and I would think I would never get my sense of smell back, on the other side was Aunt Marian and Uncle Bob.

All I ever really wanted to do was to go to Aunt Marian and Uncle Bob's house and stay  for the duration of our visit...Aunt Marian especially, has this innate coolness about her.  Even when I was a little girl she just seemed to get it.  I don't think I ever really opened up to her, as I was too locked up in my insecure, feeling- constantly- out- of- place world to go that far.  But, I always felt an open invitation to just share with her.  I watched them all together a lot.  Man, they love each other!  I used to be most blown away by the amount of time they would spend together as a family.  Lots of camping trips, sitting around an open pit fire talking, drinking beer, laughing and just shootin' the shit.

So, while I know that Aunt Marian is hurting right now, I don't have to be there to know that she is still trying to take care of her family.  She's a fighter and I know she won't be leaving her beautiful family or her place in that house she made feel like a hug.  No, Aunt Marian is staying.  This is a blip in time, thats all.  

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I look forward to any and all comments from readers. Feel free to correct me, enlighten me, and encourage me!