Thursday, June 12, 2014

Observations 6.12.1

A bit of an introduction to my aunt from a post I totally forgot I had written. Click here to read the full post.

(April 14, 2013)

I'm not sure if I have ever mentioned my aunt before but I should have as she is probably one of the more interesting members of my family. In many ways I'm more like my aunt than I am my mom just as in many ways my aunt and mom are very different. Both loved art but my aunt made it her life as she graduated from two art schools and worked at a few museums including the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Never married she lived in Los Angeles and New York, at one time having an apartment just blocks from where I live now, as well as Brooklyn, Philadelphia, and Atlanta. The Atlanta stop I should ask her about because I never could figure that one out.

My aunt is the world traveling rebellious sister while my mom was the much more serious and at times philosophical one. In that way the two remind me a lot of my sister and I. In art my mom's interests ran more towards classical art and history while my aunt loves all things modern and abstract. When my mom lost her hair during chemo she religiously wore a Penn State cap her daughter forced on her. Last year, after being diagnosed with the same rare cancer as my mom, my aunt refused all offers from my rather large hat collection and acquired a large collection of her own, long printed scarves that flow behind her.

Observations 6.12

It's become the worst possible form of deja vu. Some fifteen years ago I watched as my mom was consumed by cancer and as many years later I watch as the disease slowly but ever so surely takes her sister, my aunt.

With my mom I found myself consumed with rage, rage against a world I felt had deserted me. In many ways I took it out on myself because I reasoned if the world had deserted me it was perfectly acceptable to desert myself. Essentially I was selfish. Now I find I'm more retrospective, thinking more about my life, what I've done and what I want to do with it. I think a lot about my family.

I'm sure one explanation of the difference in reactions is simply age, that magic wand called maturity, the different way a thirty year old's mind reacts to a situation compared to a teenager's mind. How much of the difference comes from the knowledge that I carry the same gene that destroyed both my mom and my aunt I can not say. Along with maturity comes knowledge and with that knowledge comes questions, some of those questions never have an answer. Probably the main question is the simplest, why? It's ironic how the simplest question is also one that has no answer.

It's so hard to put any of what I'm thinking or feeling into words but I had to try if for no other reason than my sanity. When I write, ramble as I might at times, I can see concrete thoughts, this is what I'm thinking. When I talk about my feelings on this or any subject I sometimes change my thoughts before the conversation is over. Normally I like that, I like that my mind is constantly changing, evolving to use an overused word. But in this case I find it all too emotional and feel like my brain is on the verge of burning out. Maybe this will help, maybe not.

But than there are the times I just can't get Birdy's "Wings" out of my head. It is what it is.