Tuesday, March 30, 2010

the last time

The last time Ellie saw her great Aunt Maggie was right before she and Lon took off to Austin for the South by Southwest music festival. She'd promised her Mom she'd go by and see her. Naturally, not a thing had changed at Aunt Maggie's. Same old faded pictures on the wall of long lost relatives she'd never had a chance to meet. Still didn't know who they were. But there was a snapshot of her and Ben with Aunt Maggie on the dresser mirror in the first room at the front door.

Ellie felt weepy around the old woman. Her great Aunt's fingers were so tender and wrinkled and sickly.  Ellie had notice how a tooth was just hanging there when Aunt Maggie smiled. Ellie thought it might fall out any second. It was hard not to be squeamish around her.

"Whatcha gone and done? Having Lonnie's kid?" She was rambling. Ellie was catching a line here and there. Ellie couldn't stop her. She seemed to think she'd had Lonnie's kid and was bringing him back for Lonnie to keep. As it was Charlie was a bit fussy with Lon who wouldn't let him down to investigate the surrounding. An antique was sure to break if Charlie had his way.

"Can't, no way, a young thing like you take care of honyock like that." Aunt Maggie was peeved with her.

"I'm not alone, Aunt Maggie." Ellie tried to grin. "I'm married. I married Lon. Lon Love." Ellie looked over her shoulder at Lon who just smiled and waved.

"Ben? Ben are you taking care of your sister?" She had her own ideas that Lon was her half-brother, Ben, and Lon went along with Aunt Maggie, teasing Ellie about keeping her in line. Ellie just smiled. He had a way to keep her from melting into tears.

"I brought you a picture of us." She showed it to her, but Aunt Maggie's fingers shook so, Ellie decided she'd tuck it away on the mirror where the rest of the new pictures were.
"Promise me, you won't have another one until you finish school." Aunt Maggie took Ellie's hands when she came back to her. Of course, Ellie wasn't sure if Aunt Maggie knew she graduated high school and was working on her third semester of college.

Ellie just nodded.

"Promise." Aunt Maggie's pale eyes could still be so threatening. She let Aunt Maggie's old hands reach around her neck. Ellie felt as if a skeleton might be hugging her. Ellie didn't know it was the last time she would see her.

Her great Aunt passed away while they were in Austin.

7 comments:

Cafe Fashionista said...

I think it's great that Ellie at least had the chance to talk to Aunt Maggie before she passed on. It kind of brings a sense of...closure to the situation, it seems. :)

simon and josh said...

Yeah, it was good that she saw her even if she wondered if her aunt really knew what was going on. bitter sweet.

the oaks said...

Its never easy in a situation like that.

lily said...

I like that picture of her. So sad.

Syed (dapper kid) said...

How sad. It's always painful being around elderly relatives when they get confused, but I suppose it's part of life.

Winnie said...

That's sad. I agree with dapper, elderly relatives getting confused like that is really sad.

meg said...

It was good that she would listen to her Aunt, anyway.