On the day I retired from Transnation Title, Mark’s 85-year-old Aunt Terry was diagnosed with lung cancer. Aunt Terry and I always shared a special bond so it was natural and fun to hang out with her, even while she was sick. After a couple of months of spending time with her, Mark suggested I share some of my days with my Auntie Sis who lives about 30 miles from our home in a little town called Shelby. I thought it was a great idea so I started visiting Auntie Sis, too.
For some reason I chose to visit Auntie Sis on Tuesdays. I had read and loved the book Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom, so maybe I thought the day had a magic to it or something. Even though Auntie Sis isn’t sick, she lives alone, she is no longer able to drive and has trouble walking sometimes. She is my godmother and I have always felt close to her. Her husband Lee died many years ago and they never had children of their own but they always had plenty of wonderful nieces and nephews around. My cousins Linda Gosselin and Laurie Beckman are Auntie Sis’ angels who make sure she has groceries, that her bills are paid and that she has rides to her appointments. They provide the balance and love in Auntie Sis’ life and for that I’m grateful.
Auntie Sis’ brother Tuffy (Lavern) lived about 10 miles away from her in another small Michigan town called Hart. Uncle Tuff lived at the Oceana County Medical Care Facility so we would visit him on Tuesdays as well. Uncle Tuff was always a delight to visit because he was always interested in what my family was doing and knew many specifics about my life. He had a beautiful smile, a great sense of humor and was brutally honest, which always made us laugh. His caregivers loved him and he loved them in return. Sadly, Uncle Tuffy died earlier this week, so now Auntie Sis is the only one of my dad’s siblings who’s still alive. We will miss Uncle Tuffy and his beautiful smile.
I believe the best part about visiting my aunt and uncle was that I learned a lot about my parents when they were young. My mom grew up in Hart and my dad in Shelby so when I would visit I would run into people that knew them long ago and they’d share stories. For some reason I stopped my Tuesday visits with Auntie Sis and Uncle Tuff after my diagnosis, but I still have wonderful memories from our time together. My brother Jim has taken over my Tuesdays with Auntie Sis and that makes me happy.
Oddly enough, I’d always thought of Auntie Sis as the Morrie in my life, but maybe I was the Morrie in hers.