My aunt Rita (the oldest of two sisters and two brothers) died on 10 May from cancer. It was too late by the time she was diagnosed. We heard the news on 5 March (a Friday) and she was dead two months later.
The cancer was in the lining of her stomach and in her pancreas. It spread quickly through her abdomen and she was nauseous everyday, not eating, and I can't help but to think she starved to death.
She had cats.
There were cats in rooms in her house on Kelly Circle. I can't remember their names. I do remember the cat that was in the main bathroom (first door to the left in the hallway). It was black and white and hissed at me when I tried to pee.
I see her face at the funeral home sometimes when I close my eyes. I can't see her face at any other time and I dream about how that room felt on that day. It was hot and the smell was so strong that it made me sick to breathe. I held my breath to hold back everything else.
When Nana died, Rita didn't go to the funeral. I never forgot that.
I see Nana's face in the hospital right after she died. I sat and held her hand (it was still warm) and her tongue was sticking out. I only looked because I wanted to see what it looked like at the end.
Mom drove home the day after Rita died and we went to a birthday dinner for me. We ate Mexican at a small place where the waiter was young. Mom cried at dinner. I ate nachos.
My birthday is 11 May.