I went to visit my Aunt L (AL) yesterday. It was a favor to my dad of sorts. And probably the right thing to do. AL is a recovering drug addict. As in, I knew her all my life and she never did drugs around the family, and things never got to the point of an intervention, and I don’t think I knew about any of it until I got much MUCH older. She has a daughter T, who now has a son OC who is severely disabled.
But no one comes to St. Pete to visit them. Hubs and I have been down here three times, and this was the first time we visited. Mostly because I didn’t have much interest before, given the history. AL had stolen from me once or twice, and from the family of course. And she is the reason my dad is blind nearly blind in one eye. But when my parents needed her, she was there. So I went to visit.
And it was sad. The house she’s living in now was left to her from her mother who passed away five years ago. She had three houses, and two of them were sold to divide the money between her children. I don’t think my dad saw a penny.
The house looks very different than I remember it. The outside looks awful and unkempt, but the inside was just as clean as it had ever been.
And I say it was sad because I hadn’t been here in over five years and I wasn’t surprised by any of it. I went with a mixture of excitement and anxiety. I don’t have many relatives, much less ones that I care to have anything to do with, and the fact was, AL was a constant for awhile. And I miss having family. I remember times when she would do my hair, and would want to take me places and would always acknowledge me.
I’ve had her on my mind since we decided to visit St. Pete this year. Nothing big or spectacular, just a thought. And I’d been weighing the pros and cons of going to visit and what precautions I’d have to take and how I would have to prepare myself emotionally. But yesterday morning, I called my parents to ask their opinion. I wanted to know that what I wanted to do was the right thing to do and was what they wanted me to do.
And it was, of course.
So we visited. And it was hard. And sad. But also good because she is still family, and I was happy to hear she was doing so well. T on the other hand, is doing exactly what AL had done at the same age. Running the streets and doing drugs and probably selling herself for cash. And perhaps this is all speculation. And I won’t be the judgy one, even though I’m probably judging them six ways from Sunday because it is not what I would do.
But then again, what WOULD I do in those circumstances?
Anyway, it made me so grateful for the things I have and the life I have, and the family and friends that I have in my life. It truly made me see that things are going to go the way they are supposed to go, and you just have to be patient.
But the point is, I did it. And it was the right thing to do.