”Life’s Daily Inspiration” In How Not Live Your Life
This ”Life’s Daily Inspiration” is about my Dear Great Aunt. She was Hospice the last months of her life.
She had Congestive Heart Failure and very bad lungs. Although she had never been a smoker in her life. My family has its share of bad genetics.
She also had fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, and Rheumatoid Arthritis, and last but, not least Polymyalgia.
Anyone of which is truly horrible and she was blessed or cursed with them all. Not a ”life’s daily inspiration” any of them.
Aunt Lonnie was not your typical sweet little old lady. She had NOT aged gracefully. She was to be very blunt MEAN but I loved her.
I remembered her from when I was 12 or 13 as being loving and kind and very giving.
Aunt Lonnie had, like many of us made some poor life choices, but were great choices economically.
However, they cost her far too much in happiness and joy. They killed her love of life.
She married my Uncle Jim as a young woman. She was just out of the Army as a Nurse.
They quickly had problems that according to my Great Aunt were always Uncle Jim’s fault. But, to be fair I never remember my Aunt taking responsibility for anything. It was always someone else’s fault or doing.
She had fallen in love with a Major in the Army and by her own account, a jewel of a man and a Doctor. They were engaged to be married after the war.
The war ended and plans were made for the wedding and life was perfect for my Aunt till that fateful day.
When the call came that her Major had been killed in a car wreck. He survived the war only to die in a horrific car wreck.
3 months later she married Uncle Jim. Not really loving him as she had the Major, but he was gone. So she thought why not? He’s a nice enough guy.
What a mistake, that forever became his fault. but, wasn’t. It was all hers.
They lived together well, at least in the same house. He lived downstairs and she lived upstairs.
She did the cooking, and the cleaning when she was home. As she worked private duty as a Nurse to new mothers. My aunt would be gone for weeks at a time.
Uncle Jim paid all the bills , did the grocery shopping and did the yard work when she was gone. Then she did it all when she was home.
All of this constant upheaval in living arrangements allowed her to become very unhappy and then bitter toward the life she had chosen. That she had planned arranged and encouraged.
Sadly she chose financial security over love and happiness. She knowingly married someone she didn’t really love. Financial security was more important to her. A sad but, true statement.
Uncle Jim truly loved my Aunt till the day he died and always remarked it was never enough for Lonnie. Just never enough.
When Aunt Lonnie had to leave the assisted living in New Jersey I asked her to come live with me here in the State of Tennessee. She promptly said ” No I can’t live anywhere but New Jersey.”
In moving her she passed down to me a red set of coal oil lamps she had wired for electricity. They once belonged to my great-grandmother. They are well over 100 years old. And I proudly display in my home today.
So being left in charge of helping her, I found a VA run facility she was tickled pink. She said ”New Jersey” had the best facilities everybody knew that.
Uh- huh, well that lasted about 2 days and then ”it was the worst facility and they didn’t know what they were doing.”
Typical Aunt Lonnie, nothing or no one ever measures up. But, these were her choices, not mine.
She could have moved down to my place although I think I might have had to take up drinking. Whew!
A short time later she took Pneumonia.
Hospice called and said, she would barely eat and they stopped her salt because it was not good for her.
Having done Hospice care, I knew and my Aunt knew being a Nurse, it probably was not gonna make any difference at this time in her life, as she only had a matter of days left.
I quickly told the Nurse to give her salt back to her as she had always enjoyed HER salt.. It was not going to change the end result.
Three days later my Aunt Lonnie slipped away in the wee hours. Finally at peace with herself.
This gave me joy for her. For a lifetime of sad choices for her were now over.
Elaine and I being in Hospice for over 70 years combined.
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