Monday, March 14, 2011

A Shock But Not Completely Unexpected

My Aunt Margie has been in a nursing home for almost a year now.  After her youngest son, Anthony, passed away about 7 or 8 years ago she was devastated and suffered several strokes.  Her oldest son, Reuben, took excellent care of her until he too was hospitalized with a massive heart surgery that almost took his life. 
My mom in green, Aunt Margie in pink and Reubon next to her

Thankfully my aunt was moved to a nursing home in Aztec, only 20 minutes away from my parents.  Reuben moved in with my parents and they were all able to visit my aunt very often.  In fact, my niece works at this nursing home, so she was able to check in my aunt often. 

On our last trip to visit my family Miles was only 2 months old, but my aunt desperately wanted to meet him.  Despite the fact that he had not had his vaccinations yet, I just couldn't say no.  I never really had any grandparents, the only Grandpa I knew died when I was 5.  My Aunt Margie was the closest thing I had to a Grandmother.  In fact, when my mom's mother died when she was very young, my Aunt Margie was the oldest and took care of my mom and all her other siblings. 

The latest stroke that my aunt suffered was last week.  After this one the Dr. suggest Hospice.  But after visiting with her sister, my mom was very hopeful that she would make another recovery.  Sadly though, my Aunt Margie passed away this morning.  She had just had a nice visit with my mom and all my aunts and uncle yesterday.  In fact, my mom said that Aunt Margie was trying to push away her oxygen during their last visit.  One last burst of strength before her long rest. 

I cannot imagine what my mom is going through.  She has just lost the sister/friend/and mother-figure that she's looked up to for all her life. 
Mom and Aunt

My Aunt Margie was always the feisty one.  Well, I guess really all those sisters are feisty... but she was feisty on the verge of crazy.  She had a huge personality.  There is simply no way I can do justice to just how fun, funny, sassy, and even (sometimes) mean she could be.  Everyone in our family has at least one (probably more) story of something she did or said to make us laugh. 

My favorite story to tell is when I tried to call her to tell her that my parents flight had been delayed. They were flying back to Albuquerque from Dallas and Aunt Margie and Reuben were picking them up.  She had gone deaf a long time ago, but refused to wear her hearing aids.

Aunt Margie: Hello
Me: Hi Aunt Margie.  This is Mandi.
Aunt: Who?
Me: Mandi
Aunt: WHO?!?!?
Me: This is MANDI
Me: This is Mandi. John and Fran's daughter.
Aunt: John and Fran aren't here.
Aunt Margie: You don't have to yell.

I'm pretty sure she was just messing with me.

When I took Miles to see her, she was so happy and excited.  She couldn't remember a lot at that point, but she remembered his name and even continued to ask about him after we had left.  I'm so glad she got to see him before she passed away.

So, tomorrow Miles and I are flying out at 6:30 AM with one layover in Denver before getting to Durango, a one hour car trip away from home.  I am not looking forward to doing all of that with a 7 month old who likes to squeak like a dolphin when he's mad AND when he's excited, by myself.  But I want to go be there for my mom and say goodbye to my favorite aunt.

Aunt Margie and Dylan


  1. So sorry to hear about your loss; you are sweet to go support your family at a time like this. I hope your travels are as easy as they can be - I know how stressful it is flying with a baby. Ignore any dirty looks you get from fellow passengers if Miles starts acting up - they were once crying, fussing dolphin-squeaking infants once too! Good luck, my friend!

  2. What a sweet post about your aunt!! I am glad your plane ride with Miles went good. How could anyone on the plane be annoyed at him, he is too happy and sweet and cute! xoxo