My Uncle is getting married, which is nerve-wracking because my Mother will likely attend, and any family gathering with my Mother involved is likely to attract police, ambulances, curious townspeople, and will require years of therapy to erase from all of our brains.  My Uncle is her youngest sibling, and they also had a sister who was next eldest, but she passed away in a car accident a while ago, when she was only 26 years old.  I was fifteen when she died, living in Ohio with my Dad, and I had been to her wedding a few summers before: a glorious affair and a testament to her loveliness that she married her long-term boyfriend’s best friend and her ex-boyfriend was not only okay with that, he was in their wedding party.  She had long bone-straight black hair, an Italian beauty, and was gentle natured and kind to the flock of nieces and nephews my Mom would parade through her apartment in Boston every year for the Boston Marathon.  I remember she always had M and M’s for us, and we never had candy in our house so that was a treat in itself.  She ran the Marathon every year, and we would stand by the roadside at the bottom of Heartbreak Hill and give the runners oranges and wait for her to come by.  Shortly after her wedding, my Aunt was in the back seat of a car when it was hit by a drunk driver and she went right through the roof.

She survived, and was in a coma for a while, and woke up blind.  I still have the note she sent me in Ohio after she woke up which looks like it was written by a third grader.  She lived another year, and then died on a postponed honeymoon to Jamaica, I guess her head could not handle the traveling.  It is beyond heartbreaking that somehow she was taken from this Earth and my Mother is still here, making all of our lives a tiny bit less bearable.    I am hoping my Mom passes through this family event without incident, but it would be shocking if she could concede the spotlight.  She has softened over the years, with age and ailing health, so we might have a chance of escaping this wedding without her usual bouts of hysterical blindness or severe Munchausen’s syndrome in which she suddenly takes on, for example, the symptoms of my disease.  For my birthday this year she sent me an easel, and canvases and paint supplies, not even knowing my penchant for painting the words of T.S. Eliot crudely on canvases and distributing them to friends who all, in seemingly unrelated incidents, dump me soon afterwards.  It was an incredibly generous gift, completely unlike her, and although it was preceded by hundreds of phone calls announcing its imminent arrival, it was deeply appreciated and gives me a small bit of hope that she will attend my Uncle’s wedding graciously and surprise everyone, just like I was surprised two weeks after my birthday when the package of art supplies actually came in the mail.