My Auntie Anita is dying.
She has less than a month to live.
I heard from my parents, that she now needs to be supported by a breathing device.
She doesn’t have too much time left.
And her body grows weak everyday.
And she only found out about it less than two months ago.
It’s not really something you’d expect.
The funny thing is, I don’t feel anything much when I heard the news.
I didn’t cry… nor did I really feel any sorrow as well.
I felt as apathetic as if finding out that someone in Indonesia died during the tsunami.
I felt sad, but it’s a different type of sadness.
More of pity.
And it shames me a bit that I feel like this.
I think I should feel more sorrow than what I’m feeling right now.
At least, I should shed a tear.
But I haven’t — yet.
Maybe I will… after she passes away.
I used to be very afraid of my Auntie Anita when I was young.
Every one of us cousins was afraid of our Auntie Anita. What’s so funny was, she was my dad’s little sister… and theoretically, you shouldn’t be afraid of anyone younger than your dad.
Everyone was though.
Even the maids.
She’d scream my name and I would shudder in fear.
She was one of those Aunties everyone was terrified of.
Not that she meant any harm… she were practically harmless. But her bark was way worse than her bite.
And you know how people felt about barking dogs.
My Auntie Anita was a dog that barked… loudly.
For example, when she’d ask me to eat something I didn’t want to eat… or scream my name, I would be terrified.
Frankly, I rued the days when my parents had to go abroad for business.
That means, Auntie Anita would stay with us and take care of the household for a few days. And my brother and I, would stay in her control until my parents went back from our business trip.
My father was a terror too.
But Auntie Anita was another class of her own.
A few years later, I grew up.
And suddenly, I realized that Auntie Anita was not as terrifying as before.
Suddenly she didn’t seem to be as scary.
Instead, she looked old and weak.
Even when she barked, no one really listened to her.
Only very young kids were afraid of her now.
Then, I began to realize something…
Auntie Anita barked, because she was a very lonely woman.
Her husband died years ago, and she has never remarried.
She has a daughter and a son, both living in the States, who live their own respective lives and want nothing to do with her.
She has a couple of buildings, and rental is her main income… so she is never really financially in need.
But she is a very lonely woman.
Sometimes, she would come at our house, sit and eat with us. She’ll gossip about the things happening within our relatives, complain on how miserable life was, and then leave.
Other times, she would call her handful of friends and they’d walk around the malls and waste the day away.
But most of the time, she’ll be alone at home.
Don’t get me wrong.
She’s a good woman.
But no one wants to be with a woman who exuded negativity.
And Auntie Anita was a very negative woman.
It showed by how she loved to complain. It showed on how she penny-pinched on her money. It showed on how she treated people below her status poorly. And it showed on how she treated herself.
She didn’t treat herself quite well.
She’d eat in the cheapest restaurants. Dressed in clothes that were decades old. And never really pampered herself.
Even when she is dying, she complained about her won medical bills…
It saddens me to write about Auntie Anita.
She just was… the way she was…
You cannot really change a person’s character.
If a person is an optimist, few things would get him/her down. If that person is a pessimist, everything’s bound to be wrong.
But then again, you cannot help how people would react to you.
And Auntie Anita couldn’t help that people didn’t love to be in her company.
Even though she was in dire need of it.
*to be continued*
Note: All I write here is true. My Auntie Anita is indeed dying…