On this day a year ago, I was sitting in a NICU, unsure if my great aunt was going to pass away or not. She was kind of special to me, since I no longer had any remaining grandparents, and out of my grandparents’ siblings, she had been the most active in my life. Last June, she and I went on a journey together to get her out of NICU, then out of the hospital, and then into rehab. It was a long journey, and I honestly don’t know how long it took–I just knew my plane ticket home kept getting rescheduled so that I could get a little more done.
I’ve been thinking about her a lot this past week, mainly because a lot of my friends and friends of friends have started wearing white party dresses and these weird white tulle things on their heads. Of course they take a lot of adorable pictures, and the pictures of them and their grandparents all start showing up in my feeds. For some reason, seeing these pictures doesn’t make me think of my grandparents, all of whom have been gone for years. It makes me think of my great aunt.
She never caught the wedding disease, so when she fell and fractured several vertebrae in her neck, she did not have a husband or kids to come take care of all of the hospital things. Instead, she had a slightly gothic great niece that showed up from California. I never really got the chance to adjust to the new time zone, because she never wanted me to leave, so I would stay at the hospital, sometimes until two or three in the morning, holding her hand until she fell into a deep enough sleep where I could slip away unnoticed. Once she was finally moved out of NICU, she was put in a corner room that had a large window, and this odd little carpeted seat thing attached to it.
I spent a lot of time working on writing projects on that seat. I began and finished the detailed outline of one of my books there, too, one that I am currently editing. I also spent a lot of time playing World Domination.
It’s funny how someone else’s pictures bring up memories that are in no way connected with them. I’ve heard them called “ghost memories”: memories that are brought up by something that is only slightly related, but that will always carry a certain story with them.